Al-Qaeda and terror groups planning attack on US facilities

Al-Qaeda and terror groups planning attack on US facilities

Al-Qaeda and terror groups planning attack on US facilities

While US government facilities remain at a heightened state of alert, the State Department in a travel alert said the terrorists groups may strike by vehicle-born explosives, improvised explosive devices, assassinations, carjacking, rocket attacks, assaults or kidnappings.

The US government continues to receive information that terrorist groups in South and Central Asia may be planning attacks in the region, possibly against US government facilities, American citizens, or interests, the State Department.

"The presence of al-Qaeda, Taliban elements, indigenous sectarian groups, and other terror organisations, many of which are on the US Government's list of foreign terror organisations, poses a potential danger to American citizens in the region," it said.

Terrorists and their sympathisers have demonstrated their willingness and capability to attack targets where Americans or Westerners are known to congregate or visit, said the travel alert.

Since October 2009, terrorists have executed coordinated attacks with multiple operatives using portable weaponry such as guns, grenades, RPGs and suicide vests or car bombs in Pakistan, the travel alert said, adding that US citizens have been victims in such attacks.

The October 2009 attack on the UN World Food Program in Islamabad injured one US citizen. On October 15, 2009, a series of attacks occurred throughout Pakistan, the alert said, adding teams of gunmen simultaneously attacked three law enforcement facilities in Lahore, and another bomb exploded outside a residential building used by government employees in Peshawar.

These attacks killed at least 26 people and injured another 35. In June 2009, gunmen stormed the Pearl Continental Hotel in Peshawar, Pakistan, and detonated a bomb that resulted in several deaths and scores of injuries.

In February 2009, Taliban insurgents conducted a coordinated terrorist attack on three government buildings in Kabul, Afghanistan, which resulted in the death of at least 26 and the wounding of 80 individuals. Between October 2008 and June 2009, several American citizens were kidnapped in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the State Department said.

"In November 2008, coordinated terrorist attacks on luxury hotels, a Jewish community centre, a restaurant, train station, hospital, and other facilities frequented by foreigners in Mumbai, India, killed more than 170, including six Americans. In Afghanistan, kidnappings and terrorist attacks on international organisations, international aid workers, and foreign interests continue," it said.

Previous terrorist attacks conducted in Central Asia have involved improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers and have targeted public areas, such as markets, local government facilities, and, in 2004, the US and Israeli Embassies in Uzbekistan. In addition, hostage-takings and skirmishes have occurred near the Uzbek-Tajik-Kyrgyz border areas, the State Department said.

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