Security Concerns - Reminder
The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. Current threat information suggests that al-Qaida and other affiliated extremist organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in Qatar and elsewhere in the Middle East region. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide and vehicle bombing operations, shootings and assassinations, kidnappings and hijackings.
Violent extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons to carry out their attacks, and may choose to target both official (Diplomatic and Military) and/or private interests. Examples of such targets include shopping malls, sporting events, Western residential areas, business offices, hotels, Western clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, and other public areas and locales where Americans gather.
The U.S. Embassy in Doha reminds all U.S. citizens that this and other such messages are sent out in response to serious concerns about the safety and well-being of Americans in Qatar. U.S. citizens are further urged to maintain a high level of personal vigilance and awareness, and to take appropriate steps to reduce their personal level of risk. U.S. citizens should review “A Safe Trip Abroad,” found at http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/safety/safety_1747.html, which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad. In addition, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens review the Personal Security Checklist below.
Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Embassy in Doha's website, http://qatar.usembassy.gov, and the U.S. Department of State's travel website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts can be found. 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.
U.S. citizens living and residing in Qatar are advised to register their presence in the country through the U.S. Department of State's automated online registration system, https://travelregistration.state.gov. U.S. citizens may also contact the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy via email at ACSconsularDoha@state.gov or by calling 488-4101, extension 6117 for routine services or extension 6500 for after hours emergencies. Further updates will be forthcoming when new information is available. This complete message is available on the Embassy's website at http://qatar.usembassy.gov.
Recommended Personal Security Checklist:
- Vary your times and routes to and from work.
- Keep your doors locked and windows closed (residence and vehicle).
- Check the interior and exterior of your vehicle prior to getting into your vehicle. Look for anomalies or other things that do not belong in your car.
- Maintain a low personal profile by not doing anything that draws attention to yourself or those around you.
- Identify suspicious persons, vehicles, or surveillance activity and report the information to the security authority of your sponsor or to local police.
- Remain alert to what is going on around you (situational awareness)
- Brief your colleagues and family of your daily plans and provide instructions on how to reach you
- Encourage your staff to vary their hours of reporting (i.e., avoid scheduling meetings at the same time such as early each morning which would preclude the staff from varying their reporting times)
- In traffic, always attempt to leave space so that you can maneuver your vehicle away from an incident. Always leave yourself an exit. Be prepared to take evasive action at any time.
- To the extent possible avoid choke points (locations that are time and place predictable) in travel. Be wary of diversions.
- If you are being followed or harassed by another driver, try to find the nearest police station, hotel, or other public facility to call the Police and your corporate designated security-charge person. Never lead the person back to your home or stop and get out.
- Whenever possible, do not have a set day for shopping, errands and personal needs. Be unpredictable and avoid rigid patterns and routines.
- Never give out your personal information such as family member and household staff names, addresses and telephone numbers in an open setting.
- Ensure all of your family members are briefed on security measures.
- For Parents with children: Make sure they are aware of 999, home number, and any other relevant contact numbers.
- Unaccompanied minor age children should not use taxis. Rather, they should only use reliable, known limousine/car services vetted by your employer.
If an attack or violent incident does occur, remain calm and exit the area immediately. Move away from the incident, placing distance between you and the direction of the attack. If possible, seek cover behind solid objects and/or locked doors and remain out of sight until help arrives.