The US has issued a worldwide caution for its citizens travelling abroad, including India, in view of the increased threat from terror groups such as Islamic state, Haqqani network, Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban.
“Current information suggests that terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in multiple regions,” the state department said in a worldwide caution issued on Friday.
“Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that US citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness,” it said. The state department said ISIS (Daesh) has called its supporters to attack US citizens and coalition partners wherever they are. In the past year, major terrorist attacks occurred in Belgium, France, Germany, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh among others.
Authorities believe there is a continued likelihood of attacks against the US, western and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the middle east, North Africa, Europe and Asia, it said. The US government assesses terrorist groups in South Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US facilities, citizens, and interests. The presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, including the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Daesh, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terrorist organisations, pose a danger to US citizens in the region, it said.
“India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect US citizens directly or indirectly,” the state department said. Anti-western terrorist groups active in India include Islamist extremist groups such as Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Past attacks have targeted public places, including some frequented by westerners, such as luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas, it said.
In Pakistan, terrorist attacks have occurred against civilian, government and foreign targets, it said. Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations and airports. Extremist groups have also targeted hotels and western interests in Pakistan’s settled areas, including Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta. Terrorists and criminal groups also have resorted to kidnapping for ransom.