Algeria - Travel Warning
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Washington, DC 20520
July 15, 2004
This Travel Warning is being updated to alert Americans to ongoing security concerns in Algeria. The overall security environment remains dangerous, especially in the Sahara regions. However, the situation has improved and the Embassy is gradually lifting the restrictions it has placed on its employees. This supersedes the Travel Warning of March 8, 2004.
The Department of State urges U.S. citizens to evaluate carefully their security and safety if they travel to Algeria despite this Travel Warning. Over the past several months, the city of Algiers and its immediate suburbs have recorded a drop in the number of terrorist-associated incidents. However, there are continued security concerns. Random terrorist attacks still occur in rural and remote areas, on public transportation outside the major cities, and in some parts of the country at night.
In February 2003, 32 Western Europeans were taken hostage by terrorists in the Sahara desert areas of southeastern Algeria, between the cities of Ouargla and Tamanrasset. Fourteen of the hostages were transported by the terrorists into northern Mali. The Department of State continues to caution U.S. citizens to avoid traveling in this area.
The Department of State cautions Americans who reside or travel in Algeria to take prudent security measures while in the country, including arranging for pre-determined local contacts to meet and accompany them upon arrival and departure at Algerian airports. Nighttime and overland travel outside the greater Algiers area should be avoided if possible. Visitors to Algeria are advised to stay only in the large, internationally recognized hotels where security is provided. Americans should arrange for a known Algerian companion to accompany them when traveling anywhere in Algeria, whether in the capital city of Algiers or in other cities and rural areas.
The Embassy is gradually lifting the restrictions it has placed on its employees. However, all persons must remain alert and adhere to prudent security practices.
Americans who travel to or remain in Algeria despite this Travel Warning are urged to register and to obtain updated information on travel and security in Algeria at the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Algiers. The Embassy is located at 4 Chemin Cheikh Bachir El-Ibrahimi, B.P. 408 (Alger-Gare) 16000, in the capital city of Algiers. The Embassy can be reached at telephone  (21) 691-425/255/186; fax  (21) 69-39-79.