Security Message for U.S. Citizens: Possible Threat Against Western Schools

A recent anonymous posting on a Jihadist website encouraged attacks against Western teachers employed at international schools. The message referenced schools in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Maadi (Egypt) specifically, noting that these two cities have high concentrations of potential targets. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad is unaware of any specific, credible threat against any American school or individual in Pakistan. U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Pakistan should remain vigilant regarding their personal security and alert to local security developments.

Please follow these good personal security practices:

  • Avoid crowds or large gatherings when traveling;
  • Know where you are going and have a plan of what to do in the event you encounter demonstrations or violence;
  • Identify safe areas (for example police stations, hospitals, government buildings) in your area and how to get to them quickly;
  • Tell co-workers or neighbors where you’re going and when you intend to return;
  • Minimize your profile while in public;
  • Always carry a cell phone and make sure you have emergency numbers pre-programmed into your phone. The number for the Police in Pakistan is “15.”
  • If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, outside of business hours, the emergency after-hours numbers for the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and the U.S. Consulate General in Karachi are: Islamabad: (+92) (51) 208-0000 Karachi: (+92) (21) 3527-5000
  • Be prepared to postpone or cancel activities for personal safety concerns;
  • Report concerns you may have to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Pakistan enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the U.S. Department of State’s, Bureau of Consular Affairs website, where the current Worldwide CautionTravel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Informationcan be found. The U.S. Embassy also encourages U.S. citizens to review the “Traveler’s Checklist“, which includes valuable security information for those both living and traveling abroad, and enroll with the Department of State or the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well. 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. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).