On Aug. 21 the U.S. State Department updated its public announcement alerting Americans to the risks of travel in the Middle East and North Africa, citing the Aug. 20 U.S. indictment of key Hamas figures as a possible excuse for targeting Americans or U.S. interests in the region. The announcement raised concerns that extremists may be planning attacks against Westerners and oil workers in the Persian Gulf region similar to the attacks in Saudi Arabia in recent months. On a positive note, the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon lifted its restrictions for U.S. government employees on travel to coastal areas south of Beirut.