This is the full text of the new worldwide alert on possible terrorist attacks, issued by the US State Department on 21 November 2003.
The US Government remains deeply concerned about the security of US citizens overseas.
US citizens are cautioned to maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness.
We are seeing increasing indications that al-Qaeda is preparing to strike US interests abroad.
Al-Qaeda and its associated organisations have struck in the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and in Europe in Istanbul, Turkey .
We therefore assess that other geographic locations could be venues for the next round of attacks.
We expect al-Qaeda will strive for new attacks designed to be more devastating than the 11 September attack, possibly involving non-conventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents.
We also cannot rule out that al-Qaeda will attempt a second catastrophic attack within the US.
Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings.
These may also involve commercial aircraft and maritime interests, and threats to include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices.
Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.
These may include facilities where US citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches.
US citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
US Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert.
These facilities may temporarily close or suspend public services from time to time to assess their security posture.
In those instances, US embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to US citizens.
Americans abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest US embassy or consulate.
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated 26 September 2003. It is being issued to re-emphasise the continuing threat that US citizens may be a target of terrorist actions. This Worldwide Caution expires on 21 April 21 2004.
The full text of the Statement by the Department of Homeland Security on Continued al-Qaeda Threats.
In the wake of the recent terrorist bombings overseas, the Department of Homeland Security has been aggressively monitoring and assessing information with other Federal agencies and state and local partners on potential terrorist threats to the United States.
The US Intelligence Community continues to receive and evaluate a high volume of reporting indicating possible threats against US interests during the Muslim holiday, Ramadan, and the upcoming holiday season.
This reporting, combined with recent terrorist attacks, has created an atmosphere of concern in which increased vigilance here at home is prudent and may be key to deterring or disrupting terrorist attacks.
While the ability to conduct multiple, near simultaneous attacks against several targets is not new for such terrorist groups as al-Qaeda, the manner in which these attacks are being conducted indicates refined capabilities and sophisticated tactics.
The Department of Homeland Security remains concerned about al-Qaeda's continued interest in aviation including using cargo jets to carry out attacks on critical infrastructure as well as targeting liquid natural gas, chemical and other hazardous materials facilities.
In response to this information, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Terrorist Threat Integration Center have issued an advisory to security personnel intended to increase the awareness of appropriate state and local authorities and the private sector responsible for security of critical infrastructure and other potential target sets.
In addition, federal officials have contacted state and local homeland security and law enforcement officials, reminding them to maintain a heightened level of awareness, especially during the busy holiday travel season.
The national Homeland Security Advisory System will remain at Yellow, or an Elevated level of threat.
The Department of Homeland Security will continue to work with Federal partners in monitoring and assessing all intelligence reporting relative to al-Qaeda operations.
We recommend that all Americans continue with plans for work or leisure.
Visible security as well as the vigilance of homeland security professionals at all levels of government, the private sector and the general public can make a difference and prevent potential terrorist attacks.