US issues new terror alert

In a notice entitled “worldwide caution”, the US State Department says it “is deeply concerned about the heightened threat of terrorist attacks against US citizens and interests overseas.”

“The department is also concerned about the potential for demonstrations and violent actions against US citizens and interests overseas,” it said.

The statement urged Americans to boost their security precautions while abroad and maintain a high level of vigilance.

Meanwhile the State Department also reported that there were fewer international terrorist attacks last year than any time since 1969 – but the figures don’t include most of the violence in Iraq.

State Department counterterrorism official Cofer Black, said there were 190 acts of international terrorism last year, compared with 198 in 2002 and 346 in 2003.

The figures do not include attacks considered to be domestic terrorism in which foreigners weren’t among the victims.

For example, the report listed three people killed in international terrorism at tacks last year in all of Latin America.

A nightclub bombing in Bogota, Colombia, that killed 34 people wasn’t included because it was considered domestic terrorism.

Though Bush administration officials frequently refer to Iraqi insurgents as terrorists, most attacks in Iraq were not considered international terrorism because they were directed at combatants, the report said.

The 181-page Patterns of Global Terrorism Report offered a country-by-country review of terrorist attacks and cooperation in fighting terrorism.

Of the seven nations designated as sponsors of terrorism, the report said Libya and Sudan “took significant steps to cooperate in the global war on terrorism.”

But Cuba, Iran, Syria and North Korea didn’t do enough to sever their ties to terrorism.

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