U.S. Embassy in Ankara alerted to potential threats of terrorism and kidnappings

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Friday issued a warning that there could be potential terrorist attacks against American citizens and other foreign nationals in the capital city of Ankara, telling them to take precautionary measures.

“The U.S. Mission in Turkey has received credible reports of potential terrorist attacks and kidnappings against U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in Istanbul, including against the U.S. Consulate General, as well as potentially other locations in Turkey,” the security alert read.

The security alert told American citizens currently in Turkey to exercise caution by avoiding crowds, monitoring local media for news updates, and staying alert in areas “where Americans or foreigners may gather, including large office buildings or shopping malls.”

A State Department spokesperson told this reporter that the U.S. Mission to Turkey issued this security alert “as a result of our ongoing assessment of security conditions” and that the “statement speaks for itself” when asked about the validity of these reported threats.

U.S. embassies and consulates in foreign nations publish security alerts whenever there is a need to inform U.S. citizens who are abroad of “specific events and changes happening locally, in real time,” the spokesperson emphasized.

Moreover, they said that the information used to devise alerts is assembled from a vast swath of sources. These sources include “crime statistics and other publicly-available information, information gathered from U.S. government sources, as well as assessments by our embassies and consulates.”

As for the Turkish government and how they fit into this situation, the spokesperson expressed gratitude for its assistance with this security matter.

“We are grateful for the support of the Turkish government in ensuring the safety of U.S. citizens living in Turkey,” they said, “as well as Turkish citizens who visit our Embassy and Consulates.”

The security and safety of State Department personnel in foreign countries has been a high priority since the mishandling of the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities and personnel in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. The State Department and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were eviscerated for not taking the necessary security precautions when there had been reports of potential threats to the U.S. Mission in Libya prior to the attacks. 10 investigations were conducted into this infamous episode in U.S. foreign policy.

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