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US Embassy Kabul -- Security Message May 28, 2016

As most organizations operating in Afghanistan are probably aware, the US Embassy in Kabul recently released a security message indicating an increased threat against US affiliated locations in the Afghan capital.  In response the US mission has restricted movement of official US personnel to the International Zone area.  Text of the message is pasted below.

Threat warnings like this one are not unusual for the US Embassy in Afghanistan, though the movement restriction is a clear indication of how serious the mission perceives the threat in this instance.  Since the attack on the Taverna Restaurant in January 2014 (and subsequent attacks), many organizations in Kabul have severely reduced travel and movement to restaurants and other external/public locations.  Additionally, many organizations have enhanced measures to respond to attacks on or in close proximity to office and/or residence compounds. Teams on the ground in Afghanistan probably review security on an ongoing basis, but this message is a reminder to:

  • Continue to evaluate travel to these types of external locations on a case by case basis
  • Restrict visits to those only essential for the mission, and limit time in locations to a bare minimum.
  • Review emergency response procedures including how to reach safe rooms or otherwise respond to a hostile incident both at office/residence locations as well as any external locations visited.
  • Review journey management procedures that should include pre-movement risk assessment, route review, entry and egress at external locations as well as emergency response while moving.

Security Message for U.S. Citizens

May 28, 2016

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul continues to receive reports of militants planning unspecified attacks in Kabul City and elsewhere in Afghanistan against locations and individuals with potential American connections, including Afghan and U.S. government facilities, foreign embassies, foreign guest houses, restaurants, hotels, airports, civilian institutes, and educational centers. As a precaution, the Embassy has temporarily restricted vehicular movement outside of the International Zone.  The threat of kidnapping also remains high. The potential also exists for protests to occur in Afghan cities at short notice.

The Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan to review your personal security plans, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal safety, remain aware of your surroundings, monitor local news for updates, and maintain a high level of vigilance.

For further information:

  • See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide CautionTravel Warning for Afghanistan, Travel Alerts, and Afghanistan Country Specific Information.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program(STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy, which is located at Great Massoud Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health in Kabul. To reach the American Citizen Services (ACS) unit of the Consular Section during business hours, please call 0700-108-499 or send an email to KabulACS@state.gov. You can also reach the ACS unit through the Embassy’s switchboard by calling 0700-108-001/002. For after-hours emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please call the Consular Duty Officer at 0700-10-8001.
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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