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United States warns of Danger of Terrorist Attacks and Kidnappings in Istanbul

The United States government is warning its citizens to avoid Istanbul, one of the most popular tourism destinations and one of the most frequently utilized points for international airline connections. In a message released on Saturday, the US Consulate in Istanbul warned that “extremist groups” are acting aggressively to attack Americans and other foreign nationals in the city. In part, the notice read, “These attacks may be pre-planned or could occur with little or no warning, and include, but are not limited to: armed attack, attempted kidnapping, bombing, or other violent acts.” In June, Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was attacked by terrorists who killed 47 people using three suicide bombers. Since September, warnings were posted in southern provinces alerting US nationals of fears that terrorist groups were planning to target American branded hotels and US-based businesses including Starbucks.