The U.S. Government: Raising Anxiety Around the World

You’re not alone, New York—unsubstantiated fear-mongering knows no national boundaries, especially when it involves indistinct and uncertain terrorist alerts from mysterious sources. On October 10, 2005, the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi issued the following Warden Message:

“Based on information received by the U.S. Government, terrorists may be planning attacks on U.S. interests in India in the near future. Although reports are not specific, information suggests that an attack could be aimed at U.S. interests in the Indian cities of Hyderabad, New Delhi, Mumbai and Calcutta. Facilities associated with the United States or locations where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit could be targeted.”

“Information received by the U.S. Government suggests that attacks could include, among other things, suicide car bombings. U.S. citizens are encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security. U.S. citizens are also encouraged to report any suspicious activity to the local Indian police.”

Fortunately, my wife and I are quite adept at avoiding “locations where U.S. citizens and other foreigners congregate,” so you can rest easy. Except, apparently, Manhattan subway riders. On a related note, if you ever wondered where the Homeland Security folks came up with the color-coded alert system, you’re in for a surprise.

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