How Osama Bin Laden’s Death Affects Travelers
Seemingly, my mind rushed to a number of different places.
I imagined him holed-up in some mountain cave. I thought about the emotions of 9/11. I wondered how the president was going to present this to the nation, and I wondered how Osama bin Laden’s death might affect the travel industry in the short term.
There has certainly been a lot of talk about Osama bin Laden’s death, but it seems that the travel industry has taken this news in stride.
Nonetheless, we should pay heed to some of the warnings issued by the State Department, the TSA, and the Homeland Security.
Here’s a portion of the travel alert issued by the U.S. Department of State on May 1st:
- “The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence given recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011.”
Here are comments from the Travel Security Administration (TSA) after Osama bin Laden’s death:
- “TSA continually evaluates the latest threats and screening measures which are implemented based on the latest intelligence. As always, passengers may notice a variety of security measures at U.S. airports to include the use of physical bag checks, random gate screening, explosives detection technology, canine teams and behavior detection officers. We ask the traveling public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the authorities.”
Statement by Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano:
- “We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, but the Department of Homeland Security does not intend to issue an NTAS (National Terrorism Advisory System) alert at this time. I have been clear since announcing NTAS in January that we will only issue alerts when we have specific or credible information to convey to the American public. However, our security posture, which always includes a number of measures both seen and unseen, will continue to respond appropriately to protect the American people from an evolving threat picture both in the coming days and beyond.”
Be diligent, aware of your surroundings, and mindful of media coverage. Sounds like good advice for all 21st century travelers.