Latest Worldwide Caution
Message for U.S. Citizens
Protest on Sunday, September 22, 2013
Police have informed the Embassy that in response to the recent decision by the Moroccan government to raise fuel prices and the potential impact on the prices of household goods, the Moroccan Istiqlal Party has called for a large demonstration in downtown Rabat on Sunday, September 22, 2013 beginning at 4 p.m.
While the size of protests is difficult to predict, Istiqlal has had recent protests numbering in the tens of thousands, and there are reports that Istiqlal has arranged for 600 buses to bring protesters from around the country. U.S. citizens are encouraged to avoid the Rabat Centreville between Bab El Had square and Parliament, particularly along Avenue Mohammed V, on Sunday afternoon.
Demonstrations remain constant in Rabat. The vast majority of events are peaceful and number from 50-300 individuals. However, unscheduled protests or protests during which authorities lose control can result in aggressive police activity, scattering large groups of people into the streets. If you should happen upon a traffic jam, be aware that it could be related to the demonstration and try to turn around or take another route before becoming ensnarled yourself. If you should see a large demonstration, please avoid the area or remain in a safe location indoors. Do not draw attention to yourself and try to remain inconspicuous.
U.S. citizens living or traveling in Morocco are encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive the latest travel updates and information and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Morocco. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Consulate General to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens are also encouraged to visit our website at: http://morocco.usembassy.gov.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet website at http://travel.state.gov where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
You can also follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler Phone App available through iTunes or Google Play to have travel information at your fingertips.
The U.S. Embassy in Rabat is located at 2 Avenue Mohamed El Fassi and can be reached at 0537-76-22-65. Consular Services are located at the U.S. Consulate General in Casablanca at 8 Blvd. Moulay Youssef. American Citizen Services can be reached at 0522-26-71-51 during business hours. After hours, please call 0522-26-45-50 or 0661-13-19-39.
1. The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update
information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence
against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens
are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take
appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces
the Worldwide Caution dated July 18, 2012, to provide updated
information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.
2. The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat
of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against
U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Current information suggests that
al-Qaida, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist
organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests
in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle
East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including
suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and
3. Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional
weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of
such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas,
business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, and places of worship,
schools, public areas, and other tourist destinations both in the United
States and abroad where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including
4. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack
public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.
Extremists have targeted and attempted attacks on subway and rail
systems, aviation, and maritime services. In the past, these types of
attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, Glasgow,
and New York City.
5. EUROPE: Current information suggests that al-Qaida, its affiliated
organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist
attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe. Additionally,
there is a continuing threat in Europe from unaffiliated persons
planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted
on an individual basis. On February 1, 2013, an individual detonated a
bomb at a side entrance to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, killing one
Embassy guard and injuring others. The Revolutionary People's
Liberation Party/Front (Devrimci Halk Kurtulus Partisi/Cephesi or
DHKP/C) claimed responsibility for the attack on its website. The
DHKP/C has stated its intention to commit further attacks against the
United States, NATO, and Turkey. European governments have taken action
to guard against terrorist attacks, and some have made official
declarations regarding heightened threat conditions. In the past
several years, attacks have been planned or carried out in various
European countries. On February 5, the Bulgarian government announced
its judgment that Hizbollah was responsible for a July 2012 terrorist
attack in Burgas which resulted in the deaths of five tourists and a bus
6. MIDDLE EAST and NORTH AFRICA: Credible information indicates
terrorist groups also seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in
the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. government remains highly
concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities,
businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests. Terrorist
organizations continue to be active in Yemen, including al-Qaida in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Security threat levels remain high in
Yemen due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. In September 2012,
a mob of Yemeni protestors attacked the U.S. Embassy compound. U.S.
citizens have also been the targets of numerous terrorist attacks in
Lebanon in the past (though none recently) and the threat of anti-
Western terrorist activity continues to exist there. There are a number
of extremist groups operating in Lebanon, including Hizballah, a group
designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization. Iraq
remains dangerous and unpredictable. U.S. military forces departed as
of December 31, 2011, but the threat of attacks against U.S. citizens,
including kidnapping and terrorist violence, continues. In Algeria,
Al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is active and
operates throughout the country. Terrorists sporadically attack
westerners and Algerian targets, particularly in the Kabylie region, and
near Algeria's borders with Libya and Mali. In January, terrorists
attacked a natural gas facility at In Amenas resulting in the deaths of
dozens, including three U.S. citizens. Terrorists have also targeted
oil processing plants in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Some elements in Iran
remain hostile to the United States. U.S. citizens should remain
cautious and be aware that there may be a more aggressive focus by the
Iranian government on terrorist activity against U.S citizens. No part
of Syria should be considered immune from violence, and the potential
exists throughout the country for unpredictable and hostile acts,
including kidnappings, sniper assaults, large and small-scale bombings,
as well as arbitrary arrest, detention, and torture. The conflict in
Syria has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths with many thousands
wounded and over one million displaced persons.
7. In September 2012, civil unrest, large scale protests and
demonstrations as well as violent attacks - some of which were in
reaction to an anti-Islamic video and cartoons - targeted U.S. missions
and schools overseas including in Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, and
Yemen. U.S. citizens are warned that demonstrations intended to be
peaceful can escalate into violent clashes. U.S. citizens are also
reminded that demonstrations and riots can occur with little or no
warning. U.S. citizens are urged to avoid areas of demonstrations if
possible and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of a
8. AFRICA: A number of al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are
believed to be operating in and around Africa. In February 2012, the
emir of U.S-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab and
al-Qaida's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, announced the alliance of the two
organizations. Al-Shabaab assassinations, suicide bombings, and
indiscriminate attacks in civilian- populated areas are frequent in
Somalia. Terrorist operatives and armed groups in Somalia have
demonstrated their intent to attack Somali authorities, African Union
Missions in Somalia and non-military targets. Additionally, the
terrorist group al-Qaida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has
declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout the Sahel
(an area that stretches across the African continent between the
Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea to include Senegal, Mali, Algeria, Niger,
Chad, Sudan, and Eritrea). It has claimed responsibility for
kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners
throughout the region, including southern Algeria. The loosely
organized group of factions known as Boko Haram continues to carry out
significant improvised explosive device and suicide bombings in northern
Nigeria, mainly targeting government forces and innocent civilians;
attacks have increased since their attack on the UN building in the
capital of Abuja last year. The president of Nigeria declared a state
of emergency in certain areas in response to activities of extremist
groups. AQIM and related extremist groups have threatened to attack and
kidnap Westerners in Mali and the region in response to the
U.S.-supported French intervention in Northern and Central Mali, where
the political conditions remain fluid, and the Malian government has yet
to reassert control over its northern provinces.
9. U.S. citizens considering travel by sea near the Horn of Africa or
in the southern Red Sea should exercise extreme caution, as there have
been armed attacks, robberies, and kidnappings for ransom by pirates.
Merchant vessels continue to be hijacked in Somali territorial waters,
while others have been hijacked as far as 1,000 nautical miles off the
coast of Somalia, Yemen, and Kenya in international waters.
10. U.S. government maritime authorities advise mariners to avoid the
port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the
coast of Somalia. In addition, when transiting around the Horn of
Africa or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel
in convoys and maintain good communications at all times. U.S. citizens
traveling on commercial passenger vessels should consult with the
shipping or cruise ship company regarding precautions that will be taken
to avoid hijacking incidents. Commercial vessels should review the
Department of Transportation Maritime Administration's Horn of Africa
Piracy page for information on maritime advisories, self-protection
measures, and naval forces in the region. Review our International
Maritime Piracy Fact Sheet for information on piracy in the southern Red
Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.
11. SOUTH ASIA: The U.S. government continues to receive information
that terrorist groups in South Asia may also be planning attacks in the
region, possibly against U.S. government facilities, U.S. citizens, or
U.S. interests. The presence of al-Qaida, Taliban elements,
Lashkar-e-Taiba, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror
organizations, many of which are on the U.S. government's list of
Foreign Terror Organizations (FTOs), poses a potential danger to U.S.
citizens in the region. Terrorists and their sympathizers have
demonstrated their willingness and ability to attack targets where U.S.
citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit. Their actions
may include, but are not limited to, vehicle-born explosive attacks,
improvised explosive device attacks, assassinations, carjackings, rocket
attacks, assaults, or kidnappings.
12. Such attacks have occurred in a number of South Asian states,
including Pakistan, where a number of extremist groups continue to
target U.S. and other Western citizens and interests, and Pakistani
government and military/law enforcement personnel. Suicide bombing
attacks continue to occur throughout the country on a regular basis,
often targeting government authorities such as police checkpoints and
military installations, as well as public areas such as mosques, and
shopping areas. Kidnappings of U.S. citizens are also on the increase.
No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence, and
the potential exists throughout the country for hostile acts, either
targeted or random, against U.S. and other Western nationals at any
time. Elements of the Taliban and the al-Qaida terrorist network, as
well as other groups hostile to International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) military operations, remain active. There is an ongoing threat
of kidnapping and assassination of U.S. citizens and Non-Governmental
Organization (NGO) workers throughout the country. India has
experienced terrorist and
insurgent activities which may affect U.S. citizens directly or
indirectly. Anti-Western terrorist groups, some on the U.S.
government's list of designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations, have
been active in India, including Islamist extremist groups such as
Harkat-ul- Jihad-i-Islami, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Indian Mujahideen,
Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e Tayyiba. Terrorists
have targeted public places in India frequented by Westerners, including
luxury and other hotels, trains, train stations, markets, cinemas,
mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas.
13. Pakistan, India, Afghanistan and other countries experienced civil
unrest, large scale protests and demonstrations following the release of
anti-Islamic videos and cartoons in September 2012.
14. CENTRAL ASIA: Supporters of terrorist groups such as the Islamic
Movement of Uzbekistan, al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Union, and the
Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement remain active in Central Asia. These
groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may attempt to target
U.S. government interests.
Before You Go
15. The Department of State encourages U.S. citizens living overseas or
planning to travel abroad to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment
Program (STEP). When you enroll in STEP, we can keep you up to date
with important safety and security announcements. Enrolling
will also make it easier for the Embassy to contact you in the event of
an emergency. You should remember to keep all of your information in
STEP up to date; it is particularly important when you enroll or update
your information to include a current phone number and e-mail
16. U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of
vigilance, be aware of local events, and take the appropriate steps to
bolster their personal security. For additional information, please
refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on our website, http://travel.state.gov/.
17. U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state
of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically
suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those
instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to
provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are
urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest
U.S. embassy or consulate.
18. As the Department of State continues to develop information on
potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible
threat information through its Consular Information Program documents,
including Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, Country Specific Information,
and Emergency Messages, all of which are available on the Bureau of
Consular Affairs website at http://travel.state.gov. Stay up to date by
bookmarking our website or downloading our free Smart Traveler iPhone or
Android App for travel information at your fingertips. Follow us on
Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.
19. In addition to information on the internet, travelers may obtain
up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747
toll-free in the United States and Canada or, from other countries, on a
regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from
8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S.
American Citizen Services
American Consulate General