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New travel advisory issued after Yousef conviction

graphic November 13, 1997
Web posted at: 1:18 p.m. EST (1818 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- For the second time in a week, the U.S. State Department has warned Americans traveling abroad that they face a threat of terrorist attacks in retaliation for court decisions in the United States.

The latest advisory follows the conviction of Ramzi Yousef on terrorism charges relating to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York. A similar travel advisory was issued after Monday's conviction of Mir Aimal Kasi, a Pakistani man who shot dead two CIA employees outside CIA headquarters in Virginia.

Four employees of a U.S. oil company and their Pakistani driver were shot to death Wednesday in a daylight ambush on their way to work in downtown Karachi. An anonymous phone call to the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan linked the attack to Kasi's conviction, but embassy officials have been unable to verify the claim.

The warning issued Thursday advises Americans traveling abroad that "the potential exists for retaliation by Yousef's sympathizers and against American interests. United States Government installations abroad have been instructed to review their security precautions."

"While we have no specific threat information, American citizens traveling abroad should pay close attention to their personal security practices overseas in light of the potential threat," the statement added.

Yousef faces life in prison

Yousef was one of the world's most-wanted fugitives until he was arrested in February, 1995, in Islamabad, Pakistan, and returned to New York. He now faces a possible sentence of life in prison for both the World Trade Center explosion and for his conviction last year of plotting to bomb a dozen U.S. passenger jets.

Six people died and 1,000 were injured in the World Trade Center bombing. A federal agent testified during both of Yousef's trials that Yousef boasted about his bombing plots.

The agent said Yousef told him during his extradition flight to New York that he would have blown up several jumbo jets within a few weeks if his plan had not been discovered.

The agent said Yousef also bragged about masterminding the World Trade Center bombing. He said that Yousef expressed regret that more people were not killed and said his goal had been to kill at least 250,000 Americans.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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