US embassy cautions its citizens in India of Islamic State threat

02 November 2016

The US Embassy in New Delhi has issued its citizens in India an advisory to remain vigilant to increased threat of possible attacks by Islamic State terror groups in places frequented by westerners in the country.

The new travel advisory includes festival venues besides markets in the list of possible places where the IS may strike.

The warning, based on media reports that the Islamic State terror group could carry out attacks in India, is a 'reminder' and not a specific travel advisory. This is part of a call to attention to the 'worldwide caution' issued by the US State Department last month.

It is, however, the first time that the US has issued a warning regarding threats from Islamic State across India and asked its citizens to avoid places usually frequented by them.

"Recent Indian media reports indicate ISIL's desire to attack targets in India. The US Embassy warns of an increased threat to places in India frequented by Westerners, such as religious sites, markets, and festival venues.

''All US citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as detailed in the State Department's Worldwide Caution of September 9, 2016," read the statement tweeted by the US State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs.

While the US Embassy in the past has asked its citizens to avoid places where terror groups can attack in India, this is the first such time that a warning on ISIS threats in India has been issued by Washington. This may have ramifications for other Western embassies in India who may issue similar warnings to its citizens impacting travel plans and tourism here. Besides, the US may like to expand its counter-terror partnership with India to combat ISIL.

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