State Department issues ‘Worldwide Caution’ notice to Americans after al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri killed

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The U.S. State Department is warning Americans overseas to be on high alert following the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri over the weekend. 

In a statement, the State Department said there is a “higher potential for anti-American violence after [Zawahri’s] death, and that current information suggests terrorist groups are plotting attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions across the globe.” 

Osama bin Laden, left, and al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri.
(Hamid Mir/Editor/Ausaf Newspaper for Daily Dawn/Handout via Reuters/File Photo)

Such attacks, the State Department said, may employ a wide variety of tactics, including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings.

“As terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activities, and other security incidents often take place without any warning, U.S. citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad,” the State Department said.

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It further advised U.S. citizens abroad to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Those planning a trip overseas, the State Department said, should consult country-specific travel advisories and information pages on travel.state.gov/. 

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A U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan this past weekend killed al-Zawahri, who helped Osama bin Laden plot the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States and helped al Qaeda survive and spread in the years after. By finding and striking al-Zawahri, President Joe Biden said, the U.S. was ensuring that Afghanistan under the Taliban would never again become a base for attacks on the rest of the world, as it was in 2001.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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