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Alert issued for Americans traveling abroad
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Americans traveling abroad are being urged to take extra precautions because of a possible terrorist threat.
The travel alert is coming from the U.S. State Department.
Over the last several weeks, the chatter about terror threats has grown louder and the U.S. is taking it very seriously.
Faced with intelligence that al-Qaida in Yemen was in the final stages of planning attacks, the state department took the unusual step of issuing a worldwide travel alert.
Sunday, dozens of embassies and consulates, mostly in the Middle East, will be shutting down for a short time. Officials warn that terrorists strike both private and public buildings, public transportation systems, hotels and tourists sites.
Of course, the state department is taking every precaution after the attack last year on a U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans.
Could the state department be overreacting? Terror expert Tom Sanderson says no. If there was an attack and they had not closed the embassy and U.S. personnel and local citizens died, then people would have asked why there was no effort to shut down and safeguard the embassy and its employees, Sanderson says. I think at this point with the little that we know this appears to have been a good and cautious decision."
The state department is urging American travelers to sign up for its Smart Traveler Enrollment Program that sends out e-mails and text warnings.