flag of the city of Beirut, capital of Lebanon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Last Updated: January 31, 2014
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon because of current safety and security concerns. U.S. citizens living and working in Lebanon should understand that they accept risks in remaining and should carefully consider those risks. This supersedes the Travel Warning issued on October 9, 2013.
The potential for death or injury in Lebanon exists in particular due to the increasing frequency of terrorist bombing attacks throughout the country. Many of the attacks have targeted specific individuals or venues, but in all cases have resulted in death and harm to passersby in the vicinity. Although there is no evidence these attacks were directed specifically at U.S. citizens at this time, there is a real possibility of “wrong place, wrong time” harm to U.S. citizens. On October 19, 2012, Wisam al-Hassan, a high-ranking police official, was assassinated in a car bombing in Beirut’s Ashrafieh neighborhood. Two others died, and many were injured in the blast. On August 15, 2013, a car bomb in the Rouweis neighborhood in south Beirut, killed at least 27 and injured over 200. On August 23, 2013, car bombs detonated outside of two mosques in Tripoli, killing over 40 and injuring more than 500. On November 19, 2013, two suicide bombers targeted the Iranian Embassy in south Beirut, which left at least 25 dead, and 150 injured. On December 27, 2013, a car bomb in downtown Beirut killed former Finance Minister Mohammad Chatah, and seven others, while injuring more than 70. On January 2, 2014, a suicide car bomb exploded in Beirut, killing five and wounding at least 60. On January 16, 2014 a suicide car bomb exploded in Hermel, in the Bekaa Valley, killing five and wounding at least 40 people. On January 21, 2014 a suicide car bomb exploded in south Beirut, which left five dead and dozens wounded. Some of the most recent attacks have involved suicide bombers. Similar incidents can occur without warning. In addition to these bombings, there have been numerous reports in the media of Lebanese security forces disrupting other planned explosive attacks.