Safety and Security
Spontaneous and at times violent anti-government demonstrations occur in some neighborhoods, particularly at night and on weekends. These demonstrations have included blockades of major highways with burning debris and the establishment of unofficial checkpoints. Participants have thrown rocks and Molotov cocktails and used various other homemade weapons, to include improvised explosive devices and shotgun-like projectile launchers. The Ministry of Interior maintains official checkpoints in some areas and routinely uses tear gas and stun grenades, along with birdshot and other crowd control measures, against demonstrators. Violent clashes between security forces and demonstrators can make travel in and around Bahrain dangerous without advance warning.
There have been no direct attacks on U.S. citizens; however, Westerners and U.S. citizens have been caught in the middle of clashes. Anti-U.S. sentiment has been expressed on the streets and in some local press, and U.S. flags have occasionally been burned during demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal safety by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and the U.S. Embassy. The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly, and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse. If you are in immediate danger, call the police at 999.
The U.S. Embassy restricts its employees from traveling to specific areas and advises all U.S. citizens to do the same. Please check the Updated Travel Alert Map on the Embassy’s website for the latest travel restrictions. We continue to urge U.S. citizens to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Please check our Demonstration Notices for information on demonstrations, security guidance, and a map outlining areas that are off-limits to Embassy U.S. citizen employees and their family members. The Department of State remains concerned about the possibility of terrorist attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens should maintain a low profile, vary routes and times for all required travel, and treat mail and packages from unfamiliar sources with caution. In addition, U.S. citizens are urged to avoid contact with any suspicious objects or people and to report their presence to local authorities.