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State Department Updates World-Wide Alert - 2002-02-02

The U.S. State Department has issued a new global warning to Americans living and traveling abroad to be on the alert for potential attacks from terrorists seeking to retaliate for the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan.

The world-wide alert issued late Friday says there is a "potential" for attacks against U.S. citizens and interests around the world by terrorists seeking to retaliate for U.S. military actions in Afghanistan.

Its says the State Department has unconfirmed reports that Americans may be targeted for kidnapping or other terrorist actions, and it notes the abduction in Karachi, Pakistan last week of American journalist Daniel Pearl of the Wall Street Journal.

The advisory, an update to a similar warning issued in late October, said Americans are at an "increased risk" of attack by groups including those with links to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida organization and that their members do not distinguish between official and civilian targets.

It says Americans should review their circumstances carefully, take all appropriate measures to ensure their personal safety, and remain in touch with U.S. embassies and consulates in countries they are living in or visiting, though it notes those missions themselves may temporarily close or reduce operations because of security concerns.