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US issues worldwide caution for its citizens on terror threats

US issues worldwide caution for its citizens on terror threats

The US has issued a worldwide travel caution for its citizens including in India in the wake of increased threat coming in particular from the expanding global presence of the Islamic State.

Washington: The US has issued a worldwide travel caution for its citizens including in India in the wake of increased threat coming in particular from the expanding global presence of the Islamic State.

In its advisory, the US has mentioned that terrorist organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba poses a major threat in India.

In August 2014, the US and regional partners commenced military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated terrorist organisation in Syria and Iraq, an official statement on Wednesday said.

"In response to the airstrikes, ISIL called on supporters to attack foreigners wherever they are. Authorities believe there is an increased likelihood of reprisal attacks against the US, Western and coalition partner interests throughout the world, especially in the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and Asia," the State Department said.

India, it said, continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect US citizens directly or indirectly.

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 Tayyiba, the statement said.

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.

Attacks have taken place during the busy evening hours in markets and other crowded places, but could occur at any time, it said.

The US government, it said, continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South Asia may also be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US government facilities, its citizens, or interests.

The presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organisations, many of which are on the US government's list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organisations, pose a potential danger to US citizens in the region, the State Department said.

Terrorists and their sympathisers have demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack locations where US citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit, the State Department said.

According to the State Department the presence of several foreign and indigenous terrorist groups poses a danger to US citizens throughout Pakistan.

Across the country, terrorist attacks frequently occur against civilian, government, and foreign targets, it said.

Attacks have included armed assaults on heavily guarded sites, including Pakistani military installations and airports.

The Pakistan government maintains heightened security measures, particularly in the major cities. Terrorists and criminal groups regularly resort to kidnapping for ransom, it said.

first published:July 30, 2015, 09:10 IST