In the last three weeks the U.S. State Department has renewed its Worldwide, Middle East, North Africa and East Africa advisories warning Americans of the ongoing threat of anti-American violence in these regions.

Worldwide: The worldwide announcement cites al-Qaeda actions over the last six months in Riyadh, Casablanca and Jakarta to warn of possible attacks in other areas, and states that officials expect al-Qaeda to attempt assaults that would be more devastating than the Sept. 11 attacks, “possibly involving nonconventional weapons such as chemical or biological agents.” The announcement now includes a warning that maritime interests may be targeted.

Middle East and North Africa : The Middle East and North Africa announcement includes the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, and reminds Americans that civilians may be specifically targeted by terrorists or others harboring anti-American sentiments. Officials cite credible evidence that terrorists may be planning attacks on U.S. interests in the Middle East, and these attacks could include conventional or unconventional weapons and could hit soft targets such as “public transportation, residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, hotels, schools, outdoor recreation events, resorts and beaches.”

East Africa: The East Africa announcement warns of a “high potential for terrorist actions against U.S. citizens” here, including the continuing threat to aircraft of shoulder-fired missiles. An announcement from the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti warned of specific threats to places of worship that are frequented by expatriates and advised Americans to avoid such places until further notice.