May 28th, 2010
03:46 AM ET

U.S. issues travel alert for South Africa

The State Department has issued a travel alert warning U.S. citizens in South Africa to be aware of increased terrorism risks during the World Cup, which starts June 11.

"Large scale public events like the World Cup may present a wide range of attractive targets for terrorists," the alert said.

"There is a heightened risk that extremist groups will conduct terrorist acts within South Africa in the near future."

However, the State Department said, there was no specific information on any threat.

Any credible threats will be conveyed to the public, the alert said, urging all U.S. citizens to register with the embassy in South Africa to enable them to get updated security information.

The alert issued Thursday urged Americans to be aware of their surroundings and warned that crime is prevalent in the country. It urged visitors not to wear expensive jewelry and ensure valuables were not in plain view.

"While driving, keep doors locked and windows closed ... and when stopping at intersections at night or in isolated locations, leave enough space in front of your vehicle for a quick exit."

The alert comes as Vice President Joe Biden gears up for a trip to Egypt, Kenya and South Africa during the week of June 7. Biden will represent the United States in the opening ceremonies of the World Cup.

This World Cup ends on July 11.

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Filed under: South Africa
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. Ashley

    These comments are hilarious! I agree with Flowderdy Dress though, it is a warning. Nobody is stopping persons from traveling. They are merely stating that caution should be taken. This should hold true anywhere you go whether you are familiar with the location or not. Try not to get your panties in a wad because the state dept "chose" the world cup as the setting where terroist activity could occur. Because really aren't they just doing their job by sending out these statments?

    May 28, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • jdf

      Hilarious indeed Made my morning actually.

      May 28, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Craig

    It's not the ants and lions. My best friend almost died from a flesh eating bacteria he picked up in South Africa...but I'm sure that's 1 in a million.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  3. birdman

    As a south african i say that africa and esp here is no place for the faint hearted and no place for sissies.

    yes crime and corruption are ripe, terrorists can literally walk across our borders if they want to and it would seem pretty easy to stage some kind of terrorist act and blame it on practically anyone . trust me i walk the streets here every day:)

    so the never ending war on terror could easily move to our shores wether it be the elusive al quaeda gang or the state department themselves who co ordinate it.

    yeah a 2 week warning.. at least they can now say i told you so and we had warned our peeps.

    all the worlds eyes will be on this place over the next couple weeks.

    the perfect stage for the next big "world shaking event" or the perfect cover for one behind the scenes?

    why the games an africa and why now in this terror ripe and slowly falling apart system of ours? match the dots...

    either way we are in for some kind of entertainment .

    ayoba! let the games begin african style

    May 28, 2010 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. menzi

    the problem here is Swaziland which has become a hub for Pakistanis and Arabs because their king is so greedy and has invited all kinds of Arabs to do business in that country, not knowing that their goal is to introduce Islamic ideology . South African government needs to pull that king by his ear and get his act together.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jean Phillipe

    That's why all the world hate Americans. Trust me in the World Cup nobody is going to talk about the US team, players or fans. They never pass the first leg. So don't worry, no terrorist is going to give you free publicity.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  6. Frau Black

    It's a warning, but I think my mom just had a heart attack over it and for the next two weeks I will receive daily phone calls asking me if I'm sure I really want to go...
    And by the way, I have traveled to Africa many times, this is simple fear of the unknown for people. I'm a 30 something white woman who has simply employed common sense in my travels, things my mom taught me as a kid – don't walk through deserted areas alone, stick to highly populated areas at night, listen to your gut when you get that creepy feeling and don't do it.
    Whomever brought up the tragic attack on the Toga National Team on the way to their opening game at the African Cup of Nations, please at least give a little background. It's not like the team was driving through the scenic country side and was suddenly attacked by bandits. They were in a region where separatist violence has continued despite a 'peace agreement' with the government, traveling through it without informing Angolan officials of their plans – they were supposed to fly to Cabinda.

    May 28, 2010 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Test Pilot 21

    If you want to know the truth, ask the people who actually know.....try for a realistic version of what life is really like in South Africa.............any questions? How many of you know what the definition of terrorism is? .... it sure feels like it!

    May 28, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eve

    We are tired of of this advisories from the USA, I feel very safe in African than in any other continent..... SA here we come

    May 31, 2010 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jack Moe

    Many of us dream of taking a wild adventure through an exotic location for a holiday, vacation or trip of self exploration, not many of us actually treat ourselves to such an exciting and wonderful experience. There has never been a better time to fulfill this worthy dream, and traveling through beautiful and enchanting Africa is something everyone should do in their lifetime.
    Booking an african travel safari directly with a local operator in the country you wish to visit can save you a lot on money. But you must be very careful that you are booking with a reliable local safari operator who will give you a stress free vacation. With the internet full of all manner of safari operators, read on and discover how easy it is to vet if your African safari operator is genuine and reliable.

    June 15, 2010 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sam

    I don't recall them doing this although I understand why. South Africa is probably the safest and most peaceful destination in Africa. Judging by the current climate in Northern Africa (Egypt, Libya), I wouldn't step foot on their soil. Its hilarious that I still get spam emails about buying bucket trucks and shipping them to Nigeria. Africa is a really unstable continent politically. I find it hard to believe there is ever a heightened warning for Westerner's traveling to Africa, it's sort of a given.

    February 24, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kaptin55

    Africa is best place for, I can recommend it for you dude 🙂

    March 8, 2011 at 6:49 am | Report abuse |
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