The United States on Tuesday warned its citizens to maintain a “high level of vigilance” when traveling abroad in the wake of a counterterrorism operation that eliminated al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. In a worldwide alert, the US State Department expressed concern over the continuing threat of terrorist attacks and “other acts of violence” against its citizens and overseas interests.
The department said attacks could employ “a variety of tactics, including suicide missions, assassinations, kidnappings, abductions and bombings.”
“As terrorist attacks, political violence (including demonstrations), criminal activity and other security incidents often occur without warning, US citizens are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and practice good situational awareness when traveling abroad,” the State Department warned.
“US citizens abroad are urged to monitor local news and maintain contact with the nearest US embassy or consulate,” it added.
On July 31, the US carried out a precision strike in Kabul that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy and successor as al-Qaeda leader. The al-Qaeda chief, one of the masterminds of the 9/11 attacks against the US in 2001, continued to urge his followers to attack America, according to the US State Department.
The Taliban confirmed Zawahiri’s killing but condemned the drone strike in Kabul over the weekend. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the strike on the residence was in violation of “international principles”. But US officials said al-Zawahiri was the only person killed in the strike and none of his family members were injured.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the Taliban had completely violated the Doha agreement by harboring the head of Al-Qaeda.
“By hosting and harboring an al Qaeda leader in Kabul, the Taliban have gravely violated the Doha Agreement and repeatedly assured the world that they will not allow terrorists to use Afghan territory to threaten the security of other countries,” Blinken said in a statement.