Worldwide Caution [updated March 3, 2016]

March 3, 2016

Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens:  Update to Worldwide Caution

The U.S. Embassy wishes to advise all U.S. citizens that the Department of State issued an updated Worldwide Caution Alert on March 3, 2016.

The Department of State is updating the Worldwide Caution with information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. Current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.  This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated July 29, 2015.

Information specific to the Philippines:

Information from credible sources suggests that there is a continued risk of armed
terrorist and criminal groups operating and planning attacks against foreigners, including U.S. citizens, in the East Asian and Pacific region.  Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) have cells operating throughout Southeast Asia and JI is linked to al-Qa’ida and other regional terrorist groups.

There is a risk of travel to the southern Philippines, specifically related to kidnapping threats in the Sulu Archipelago and the ongoing threat of violence on the island of Mindanao, particularly in Central Mindanao.  Foreigners in the Eastern Sabah province of Malaysia are also targets for kidnappings for ransom.  Criminal or terrorist bands may attempt to intercept boats ferrying tourists in the area as well.

The full text of the message can be found on the Department of State web site at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/worldwide-caution.html.  The message can also be accessed through the Embassy web site at http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwha008.html.  U.S. citizens should closely monitor Travel Warnings and Alerts, as well as Country Specific Information, on the Department of State’s travel website to be informed of the latest safety and security information for destination countries.

The Embassy wishes to remind all U.S. citizens to remain vigilant and maintain an appropriate level of personal security in all circumstances by reviewing your personal safety plans; remaining aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitoring local news sources for updates.

Note:  The timestamp on this e-mail message may reflect Washington, D.C., time, which may differ from local time.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel websitefor the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Philippines Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, located at 1201 Roxas Boulevard, at +(63) (2) 301-2000, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +(63) (2) 301-2000.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).