Travel Warning – Algeria

Published by May 22, 2009

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520

March 04, 2009

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The Department of State urges U.S. citizens who travel to Algeria to evaluate carefully the risks posed to their personal safety.  Terrorist attacks including bombings, false roadblocks, kidnappings, ambushes, and assassinations occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region of the country.  Since early 2007, the use of suicide bomb attacks, particularly vehicle-borne attacks, has emerged as a terrorist tactic in Algeria, including in the capital.  The group that claimed credit for the December 11, 2007, suicide car-bomb attacks in Algiers has pledged more attacks against foreign targets, and specifically against American targets.  This Travel Warning updates information on the current security situation in Algeria and the continuing threat posed by terrorism, and replaces the Travel Warning issued on August 22, 2008.

The Department of State recommends that U.S. citizens avoid overland travel in Algeria. Americans who reside or travel in Algeria should take prudent security measures while in the country, including making provisions for reliable and experienced logistical support. Visitors to Algeria are advised to stay only in hotels where adequate security is provided. All visitors to Algeria should remain alert and adhere to prudent security practices such as avoiding predictable travel patterns and maintaining a low profile.

The U.S. Government considers the potential threat to U.S. Embassy personnel assigned to Algiers sufficiently serious to require them to live and work under significant security restrictions. These practices limit, and may occasionally prevent, the movement of U.S. Embassy officials and the provision of consular services in certain areas of the country. The Government of Algeria requires U.S. Embassy personnel to seek permission to travel to the Casbah within Algiers or outside the province of Algiers and to have a security escort. Travel to the military zone established around the Hassi Messaoud oil center requires Government of Algeria authorization. Daily movement of Embassy personnel in Algiers is limited, and prudent security practices are required at all times. Travel by Embassy personnel within the city requires prior coordination with the Embassy’s Regional Security Office. American visitors are encouraged to contact the Embassy’s Consular Section for the most recent safety and security information concerning travel in the city of Algiers.

Americans living or traveling in Algeria are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Algiers through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Algeria. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. The U.S. Embassy is located at 5 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi in the El Biar district of Algiers. The telephone number is [213] 770 08 20 00, which can also be reached after hours in the event of emergencies. The fax number is [213] 21 98 22 99.

Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. or outside the U.S. and Canada on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444.

For further information, please consult the Country Specific Information for Algeria and the Worldwide Caution, which are available on the Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov.