The United States issued a warning on Saturday to Americans abroad to beware of “terrorist actions and violence,” following the attacks on Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris, Agence France-Presse reported.
“Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness,” the State Department said.
The advisory is an update to its “Worldwide Caution” from October 10, 2014 and comes after three days of bloodshed in France that started on Wednesday when heavily armed Islamist gunmen burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo and killed 12 people.
Separately, President Barack Obama rallied to the support of France on Friday after the bloody end to hostage sieges in Paris, vowing to offer all assistance to combat the threat of militant Islamists.
“I want the people of France to know that the United States stands with you today, stands with you tomorrow,” Obama said at a speaking engagement in Tennessee, describing France as America’s “oldest ally.”
“The moment that the outrageous attack took place, we directed all of our law enforcement and counterintelligence operations to provide whatever support that our ally needs in confronting this challenge,” Obama added.
Obama was speaking hours after the crisis that began with the massacre of 12 people at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo reached a dramatic climax, with French police storming two hostage sites, killing two brothers wanted for the magazine attack and an ally.
“We’re hopeful the immediate threat is now resolved. The French government continues to face the threat of terrorism and has to remain vigilant. The situation is fluid,” Obama added.
“President Hollande made it clear they’ll do whatever is necessary to protect their people and I think it’s important for us to understand France is our oldest ally.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry honored the victims and congratulated French security forces Friday evening at the French embassy in Washington, where he signed a book of condolences.
In a surprise visit to the embassy one day earlier, Obama signed the book with “Vive la France!”