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Royal wedding: U.S. Embassy says terrorism threat in London remains 'severe'

April 28, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Flags fly near London's Big Ben as part of the decorations for the royal wedding Friday.
Flags fly near London's Big Ben as part of the decorations for the royal… (Kirsty Wigglesworth / Associated…)

A U.S. Embassy message is reminding Americans attending the royal wedding Friday that London and the rest of Britain continue to face "a full spectrum of threats" from extremist groups and that the terrorism threat remains "severe,"  according to an  online posting.

The so-called warden message, dated Tuesday, leads with a traffic alert and then goes on to say that Britain faces potential threats from groups ranging from "Irish dissident and radical extremist groups to anti-capitalist protesters." It also says that Muslims Against the Crusades, which it described as a "militant jihadist group," has threatened a "'forceful demonstration' with thousands of protesters set to burn the Union Flag, images of the Crown, and images of the bridal couple" during Friday's events. About 5,000 police officers, the message says, will be out in force with "stop and search" powers. It notes that much of central London will be closed to traffic for the event.

Warden messages are issued to quickly dispense information to U.S. citizens. More information is available at the U.S. Embassy's website. For those in London who may need help, the American Citizen Services section of the embassy can be reached by email at SCSLondon@state.gov or by calling 0207-499-9000.

In January, the U.S. State Department issued an alert about traveling to Britain and Gibraltar because of "the continuing high level of terrorist threat, including the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems, aviation and other travel infrastructure." That alert is set to expire Saturday, the day after the wedding.

As of Thursday, four travel alerts (including the British one) and more than 30 travel warnings issued by the State Department remained in effect. The department posts travel updates at Travel.State.Gov. For phone information, call (888) 407-4747 in the U.S. and Canada or (202) 501-4444 from anywhere else.

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