WASHINGTON – Americans in Kenya should exercise "extra caution" at hotels, tourist locations and urban areas, the State Department said Thursday after simultaneous attacks in the east African nation on an Israeli-owned hotel and an Israeli airliner.
The advisory singled out coastal areas as especially worthy of caution. Mombasa, where at least two missiles barely missed an Israeli plane, and Kikambala, where three homicide bombers attacked an Israeli-owned hotel, are both on the Indian Ocean.
A consular officer would meet with any Americans seeking further information in Mombasa on Friday, the State Department said.
The Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration did not issue any warnings or flight restrictions.
President Bush learned of the attacks during his Thanksgiving intelligence briefing, deputy White House press secretary Gordon Johndroe said.
"The United States deplores this violence. We stand ready to offer the Kenyans and the Israelis assistance in this investigation," Johndroe said.
Israeli and Kenyan officials said Al Qaeda was the likely perpetrator, but Johndroe said it was too early to tell whether Usama bin Laden's terror network was involved.
"It's premature to rule Al Qaeda in or out in these incidents," Johndroe said.
The terror group bombed the U.S. embassy in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi in 1998.
The president, who is on holiday with family at his Texas ranch, conferred by telephone with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice after learning of the attacks.