NO STATUS: Fly-in tourists such as Judy Herold of Spain’s soccer team do not have the same protection afforded to those staying in hotels after the attacks. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
Over the last decade or so, dozens of countries have been designated terrorist safe havens by the United States government. Though some of the designation, made during the George W. Bush administration, remain in effect, some of the other countries have since been cleared for tourism. The United States agreed to “unconditionally” lift its sanctions against 21 countries last year, including Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras, Laos, Egypt, Guatemala, Jordan, Laos, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Malaysia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen. Some of these countries had been spared the ban because they had eliminated terrorist or criminal structures from their political or security services.
The United States is expected to make similar moves in a number of other nations in the coming months, including North Korea, which is undergoing aggressive diplomatic negotiations with the U.S. The deal also includes restrictions against North Korea’s international black market in luxury goods.
The restrictions on flying in the U.S. to these countries started with an executive order signed by President George W. Bush in February 2002, which caused 1.7 million travelers to land in the U.S. without the proper visas. Since that time, most of the country’s greatest destinations have been exempted from the travel ban, which also targeted countries like Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Yemen.