On November 4, 2004 the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs disseminated the following:
This Public Announcement is being issued to alert U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist actions in Uzbekistan. This Public Announcement updates the Public Announcement of August 24, 2004, and expires on May 4, 2005.
The United States Government has received information that terrorist groups may be planning attacks against U.S. interests in Uzbekistan in the near future. We remind all Americans that terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. The Department of State urges Americans in Uzbekistan to exercise extreme caution, including avoiding large crowds, celebrations, and places where Westerners generally congregate.
Three suicide bombings occurred in July 2004 in Tashkent, including one outside the U.S. Embassy. Another bomb exploded outside the Israeli Embassy, and a third bomb exploded at the Prosecutor General’s Office in Tashkent.
Multiple attacks also occurred in Tashkent and Bukhara in late March and early April 2004. These attacks used suicide bombers, mainly focused at police and Uzbek private and commercial facilities. In late July, approximately 15 people pled guilty in an Uzbekistan court to charges related to the attacks.
In addition to these events, the U.S. Government received information in early 2003 that terrorists were planning attacks against hotels in Uzbekistan frequented by Westerners, and against foreign embassies and other organizations, facilities, and institutions associated with or representing foreign interests.
Supporters of extremist groups such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Al-Qaida, the Islamic Jihad Group, and the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement continue to remain active in the region. These groups have expressed anti-U.S. sentiments and may also attempt to target U.S. Government or private interests in Uzbekistan. Terrorist groups do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. As security is increased at official U.S. facilities, terrorists and their sympathizers seek softer targets. These may include facilities where Americans and other foreigners congregate or visit, such as residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events, resorts, beaches, maritime facilities, and planes.
The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent continues to employ heightened security precautions. U.S. citizens should report any unusual activity to local authorities and then inform the Embassy.
The Uzbek Government maintains travel restrictions on large parts of the Surkhandarya oblast (administrative region) bordering Afghanistan, including the border city of Termez. Foreign citizens intending to travel to this region must obtain a special permission card from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or Uzbek embassies and consulates abroad.
Americans traveling to or remaining in Uzbekistan despite this Public Announcement are strongly urged to register with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website, https://travelregistration.state.gov, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Uzbekistan . Americans without Internet access may register directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan is located at 82 Chilanzarskaya St., Tashkent, Uzbekistan 700115. The telephone number is 998-71-120-5450. The fax number is 998-71-120-6335.
Travelers should also consult the Department of State’s latest Consular Information Sheet for Uzbekistan and Worldwide Caution Public Announcement at travel.state.gov. American citizens may also obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or Canada, and 317-472-2328 from overseas.