Responding To Terrorism And Travel Overseas
Terrorist acts occur unpredictably, making it impossible to protect yourself absolutely. The first and best protection is to avoid travel to areas where there has been a persistent record of terrorist attacks or kidnappings. Most terrorist attacks are the result of careful planning. Just as a car thief will first be attracted to an unlocked car with the key in the ignition, terrorists are looking for the most accessible targets. The chances that a tourist, traveling with an unpublished program or itinerary, would be the victim of terrorism are slight. In addition, many terrorist groups, seeking publicity for political causes within their own country or region, may not be looking for American targets.
Nevertheless, the following pointers may help you avoid becoming a target of opportunity. They should be considered as adjuncts to the tips listed in the previous sections on how to protect you against the far greater likelihood of being a victim of crime. These precautions may provide some degree of protection, and can serve as practical and psychological deterrents to would-be terrorists. Schedule direct flights if possible and avoid stops in high-risk airports or areas. Be cautious about what you discuss with strangers or what others may overhear.
Try to minimize the time spent in the public area of an airport, which is a less protected area. Move quickly from the check-in counter to the secured areas. Upon arrival, leave the airport as soon as possible. As much as possible, avoid luggage tags, dress and behavior that may identify you as an American. Keep an eye out for abandoned packages or briefcases, or other suspicious items. Report them to airport authorities and leave the area promptly. Avoid obvious terrorist targets such as places where Americans and Westerners are known to congregate. Visit the U. Government web site and the country you are visiting's web site for the latest updates and warnings.
Make sure that you register with the state department web site or register at the embassy or consulate. Let your family know your itinerary and local contact phone numbers. A little bit of prevention will save you a ton of misery. Keep a low profile, and dress conservatively. You basically want to remain anonymous and not bring any attention to yourself. It isnít hard to do. Be aware of your surroundings and report anything suspicious. You never know when bad things can happen to good people. You have to remain alert always.