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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Stay vigilant, Islamic State could attack: US Embassy to its citizens in India

The US Embassy in New Delhi has "reminded" American citizens in India to remain vigilant to threats based on media reports that the Islamic State terror group could carry out attacks in India.
The 'reminder' is not a specific travel advisory but merely a call to attention to the 'worldwide caution' issued by the US State Department last month.

"Recent Indian media reports indicate ISIL's desire to attack targets in India. The U.S. Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues.

All U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department's Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016," read the statement tweeted by the US State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

The State Department has two categories of notices to warn American travellers of potential dangers. While a 'Travel Warning' for a particular country asks travellers to consider if they want to visit the country at all, a 'Travel Alert' is usually reserved for short-term risks like cyclones or other weather events.

India however was part of the 'Worldwide Caution' the State Department issued in September. The note on risks in India read, "India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect U.S. 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. 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."

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