The State Department has issued a worldwide alert to U.S. citizens to the possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.
U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events. U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. U.S. citizens should:
* Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
* Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
* Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
Foreign governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official declarations regarding heightened threat conditions. Authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots. We continue to work closely with our allies on the threat from international terrorism. Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Internet website where the Worldwide Caution, Taiwan Specific Information, Travel Warnings, and Travel Alerts can be found. Follow us on the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler App, available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.
All U.S. citizens in Taiwan are urged to enroll online at the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program website. Registering gives U.S citizens access to updated information on travel and security within Taiwan and makes it easier for AIT to contact citizens in case of emergency.
For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services Unit of the American Institute in Taiwan. The location of the AIT Taipei office is No. 7, Lane 134, Sec. 3, XinYi Road, Da-an District, Taipei City 10659; telephone (02) 2162-2000; fax (02) 2162-2239; email firstname.lastname@example.org; after hours emergency (02)2162-2000. The location of the AIT Kaohsiung office is 5thFloor, No. 88, Chenggong 2nd Rd, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City 80661; telephone (07) 335-5006; fax (07) 338-0551; email email@example.com; after hours emergency (02) 2162-2000.