Office of the Spokesman


June 12, 1998

In a recent interview with an American news organization, terrorist financier Osama Bin Laden reiterated his threats against the U.S. In an apparent reference to Americans, he said that he did not distinguish between military and civilians -- both groups are targets. In a May 26 press conference, Bin Laden implied that some type of terrorist action could be mounted within the next several weeks. The U.S. continues to receive information from other sources which indicates planning for an attack against Americans in the Persian Gulf (also referred to as the Arabian Gulf). We take these threats seriously and the U.S. is increasing security at many U.S. Government facilities in the Middle East and South Asia.

Therefore, the Department of State believes it useful to remind Americans in the region to maintain a high level of vigilance and alertness and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness and lessen their vulnerability. Americans should try to maintain a low profile, reduce travel in the region where possible, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail from unfamiliar sources with suspicion.

The Department of State encourages all American citizens residing abroad to register their presence and obtain up-to-date information on security conditions at the nearest American embassy or consulate. U.S. citizens planning to travel abroad should consult the Department of State's Public Announcements, Travel Warnings, Consular Information Sheets, and regional travel brochures.

This Public Announcement replaces the June 2 Public Announcement on the Middle East and South Asia and expires August 31, 1998.

Department of State travel information and publications are available at Internet address: U.S. travelers may hear recorded information by calling the Department of State in Washington, D.C. at 202-647-5225 from their touchtone telephone, or receive information by automated telefax by dialing 202-647-3000 from their fax machine.