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State Department issues worldwide travel alert

The State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, warning U.S. citizens that plans by a Florida pastor to burn Korans on Sept. 11 could provoke anti-U.S. demonstrations.

"U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert," the State Department said in a statement.

Full alert after the jump.

The Department of State is issuing this Travel Alert to caution U.S. citizens of the potential for anti-U.S. demonstrations in many countries in response to stated plans by a church in Florida to burn Qur'ans on the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Demonstrations, some violent, have already taken place in several countries, including Afghanistan and Indonesia, in response to media reports of the church's plans. The potential for further protests and demonstrations, some of which may turn violent, remains high. We urge you to pay attention to local reaction to the situation, and to avoid areas where demonstrations may take place. This Travel Alert expires on September 30, 2010.

We also remind you of the continuing threat to U.S. interests and citizens posed by various terrorist groups, as outlined in the Department's Worldwide Caution.

U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad are encouraged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website at in order that they can obtain updated information on travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact them in case of emergency.

U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, such as the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as Country Information, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at In addition to information on the Internet, travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, outside the United States and Canada, on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).

By Washington Post staff  | September 9, 2010; 1:36 PM ET
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A peaceful book burning, an American exercising his rights, is creating threats of death and destruction from Muslims who say they are peaceful and not extremists.

Why is our country fighting for these barbaric people?

Posted by: r_leever | September 9, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

'Barbaric' is not far off the mark. However, our State Department pays for one of the Islamists to go on a Middle East tour, only to come back warning Americans they WE will incite violence if the mosque is relocated from Ground Zero arena...and now the Koran being burned is yet more incitement? Truth is the State Department is selling America out by catering to and/or underestimating Islamic narcisissm, which finds violence an adequate response to any perceived insult. So, tell Americans not to travel, to beware, etc. gives the State Department some aura of concern for American welfare?
Try to seeing the enemy and not sleeping with it, and please don't warn Americans about something the State Department has enabled.

Posted by: Claraty | September 9, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Travelers should avoid 5 star hotels and gay clubs in Islamic countries; Jihadis hate 5 star hotels. And if you hear the words "Allahu Akbar Allah" prepare to die.

Posted by: pamschuh9 | September 9, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

any fool that travel to one of these crapholes to experience their culture or sightsee deserves what they pay for.

Posted by: pofinpa | September 9, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Actually, we've set fire to hundreds, if not thousands of Korans already. Think of what burns when a Predator drone or F-16 hits its targets.

Think of all the targets struck by bombs and missiles since the original Desert Storm. Shoot, we've probably burnt at least 100,000 Korans by now.

Finally, I wonder how many American flags are burned every day at anti-U.S. protests around the world? Should we retaliate for each of those dastardly acts?

Posted by: coakl | September 9, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

American citizens the media is playing us like puppets.

I'd like to add a different perspective that I hope will be at the forefront of these comments. Why is the media giving airtime to a church of 30 people in what seems to almost invite divisiveness between Americans and put a target on America's back within the international community. If there is another attack on US soil by extremists because of this burning, I will blame the American media for its irresponsible reporting versus this pastor.

The American media has allowed Muslims worldwide to focus on this event and invite more fanaticism. They have also casted Americans in a bad light of ignorance because of 30 people in some rural Florida church. Hate groups with more than 30 people in America have been doing things like this for decades. Why is the mainstream media giving this guy so much airtime?

It's almost as if there is a hidden agenda to somewhat start a religious war and the media is being used as the fuel to fan the fire. Rather than pay attention to the impending wealth destruction of the middle class, it seems the powers that be are trying to divert our attention by focusing on a religion where maybe less than 10% of its participants are extremists.

By the media fanning this into a big story, they can foster a growing hatred of Americans in Muslims, and foster an anti-Muslim attitude should there be violent repercussions for this burning. In the meantime we hit the comment section of papers like the Post and argue amongst ourselves over whether this is right or wrong. Truth be told, who cares? It's 30 citizens exercising their freedom of speech. Why's that getting air time? What's next, a news story every time someone utters a racial epithet? Something seems amiss.

I can't help but think there is a foreign intelligence element in both this event and the stupid NY mosque that suddenly had to be built at ground zero. Is there a hidden agenda? Is there a payoff for the intelligence community fostering a hatred of Muslims in America? Seeing how much oil predominant Muslim countries hold, perhaps. But that's speculation. I can't put my finger on what's going on in America, but why in the last 9 years has America become so polarized and passionate when it comes to religion?

Posted by: JasonThomasDenverCO | September 9, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

JasonThomasDenverCO - I agree! Well said. I think it's for commercial purposes. The media has NOTHING to bring to report on so this is what we get. Dumb down news reporting on dumb stuff.

Posted by: allie7 | September 9, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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