U.S. Embassy Nouakchott, Mauritania
Warden Message - Security Reminder
September 23, 2010
The U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott is issuing this Warden Message to remind U.S. citizens of the continued threat of attacks against Western targets in Mauritania and throughout the greater Sahel region. Al Qaeda in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has shown continued interest in attacking western citizens in Mauritania, and has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of seven foreign workers, including five French nationals, in Arlit, Niger on September 16, 2010.
During the past week, Mauritanian forces have engaged in military operations against AQIM elements in northern Mali. It is likely that AQIM will seek to respond to these operations by attempting retaliatory attacks. U.S. citizens should maintain good personal security practices and remain aware of their surroundings at all times, including always locking their homes and cars, varying routes and time of travel, and avoiding drawing attention to themselves. When going out, they should avoid being part of large, highly visible groups of Westerners, and should be particularly alert when frequenting locales associated with Westerners.
After spending a few days in Marrakesh,we are leaving today to head towards Western Sahara and then on to Mauratania. I'm requested to stay off my blog for about a week or so after we leave Morocco, because we will be traveling through some dangerous areas of Northern Africa, deep into the heart of conflict. For our safety the driver doesn't want anyone knowing where and when we will be traveling. Wants our route to be unknown. Our travels have been changed twice since beginning our trip and can change again any day. All depending on recent events down south. As we leave Morocco we will be traveling through some of the most dangerous countries in the world at the moment. Travel in Western Sahara has been tense since the recent killings a few weeks ago, between the Moroccan army and some protestors in Western Sahara. Western Sarahans want to break away from Moroccan control, so political unrest is making things tense. Mauritania is a hot bed for terrorist groups including Al Quida and reports have them planning a terrorist attack somewhere in the country. All western travelers have been requested to avoid all travel through these countries.