For any international traveler, the best defense is to avoid problems with security through a little advanced planning.
The US Department of State has an excellent travel web site with updated travel warnings, links to medical requirements for trave and Consular Information Sheets searchable by continent, These list recent problems, criminal and other activity, and are a good guide to a particular country you might intend to visit.
Another serivce is the Embassy Registration program:
"Registration at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (in the country you are visiting) makes your presence and whereabouts known, in case it is necessary for a consular officer to contact you in an emergency. During a disaster overseas, American consular officers can assist in evacuation were that to become necessary. But they cannot assist you if they do not know where you are.
Registration is particularly important for those who plan to stay in a country longer than one month, or who will travel to:
*A country that is experiencing civil unrest, has an unstable political climate, or is undergoing a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane.
*A country where there are no U.S. officials. In such cases, you should register at the U.S. embassy or consulate in an adjacent country, leave an itinerary with the Consular Section, ask about conditions in the country that you will visit and ask about the third country that may represent U.S. interests there.
If you are traveling with an escorted tour to areas experiencing political uncertainty or other problems, find out if your tour operator is registering your trip through the State Department’s travel registration website. If it is not, or if you are traveling on your own, you can still register with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate through the State Department’s travel registration website.
In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare or whereabouts may not be released to inquirers without your expressed written authorizations. Registration through the website is not considered proof of citizenship. Remember to leave a detailed itinerary and the numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in the United States."
You can register for this program by clicking on this link.