I-Day: US warns of terror threat
New Delhi, August 13
The United States has warned its citizens of a continuing threat of terrorism in India in a report that comes on the eve of India’s Independence Day.
The ‘Worldwide Caution’, released by the US State Department, is, however, being seen as part of a routine exercise undertaken by Washington to update information on the security threat to American nationals across the globe.
“In India, there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners, including luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas, mosques and restaurants in large urban areas,’’ the State Department said.
Current information suggested that Al-Qaeda and affiliated organisations continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These attacks might employ a wide variety of tactics, including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.
US citizens have been advised to maintain a high-level of vigilance, be aware of local events, and take appropriate steps to bolster their personal security.
Referring to Pakistan, which celebrates its Independence Day tomorrow, the report said a number of extremist groups continue to target US citizens and other Western interests and Pakistani officials. Suicide bombing attacks continue to occur throughout the country on a regular basis, often targeting government authorities such as mosques and shopping areas.
About war-ravaged Afghanistan, it said remnants of the former Taliban regime and the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, as well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)/NATO military operations remained active. There was an ongoing threat to kidnap and assassinate US citizens and NGO workers throughout the country.
Indian officials said there was nothing new in the State Department report. The US administration had been issuing travel advisories to its citizens from time to time. However, the officials were not enthused by the timing of the ‘Worldwide caution’ since the Independence Day celebrations are round the corner.
“We are already in a high state of alert but such advisories bring undue pressure on our forces,” one official said.