US State Department Issues World Travel Alert [Breaking]

The U.S. State Department has issued a World Travel Alert following the lone wolf attack and hostage situation in Sydney, Australia. The alert was posted today and expires on March 19, 2015.

The World Travel Alert focuses on cautious travel among Americans who may be visiting abroad. Americans who plan to travel abroad are told to be “extra cautious, maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security.”

The State Department alert claims that analysis of the worldwide situation suggests that American citizens may be targeted as well as “hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period.” The department is also suggesting that anyone traveling in countries outside of the U.S. enroll in the department’s special program that makes it easier for travelers to seek assistance abroad in an emergency.

“We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.”

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For those who will be traveling abroad, do you plan to enroll in the STEP program due to the World Travel Alert?