State Department Worldwide Travel Alert

The Christian minister of a small church in Florida canceled on Thursday his plan to burn copies of the Quran that had been scheduled for Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.  The planned protest had sparked angry demonstrations by Muslims around the world.  

The Reverend Terry Jones announced his change of heart at a news conference late Thursday in front of his church in Gainesville, Florida.

Jones said he called off the Quran burning protest because he had secured an agreement with Muslim leaders in New York City to move the location of a controversial planned Islamic center and mosque away from the site of the 2001 terrorist attacks known as Ground Zero in lower Manhattan.

“The American people do not want the mosque there and, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Quran,” said Terry Jones. “The imam has agreed to move the mosque.  We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday.  And on Saturday, I will be flying up there to meet with him.”

But the New York imam behind the Islamic center project issued a written statement saying there was no deal to move the Islamic center and mosque slated to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero.

The State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert, in the wake on this controversy.

“U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert,” the State Department said in a statement.

U.S. government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert. These facilities may temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture. In those instances, U.S. embassies and consulates will make every effort to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens abroad are urged to monitor the local news and maintain contact with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

As the Department of State continues to develop information on potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its Consular Information Program documents, such as the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as Country Information, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at travel.state.gov/. 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 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday, Eastern Time (except U.S. federal holidays).

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