State Department issues new terrorism alert for European travel

The U.S. State Department issued an alert for Americans residing in or traveling to European countries, citing an ongoing threat of terrorist attacks through the summer.

On Monday, a new travel alert issued by the State Department claims that ISIS and other affiliate terror groups retain the “ability and to plan and execute” attacks in Europe. It also cites recent terror attacks in France, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom, while stating that U.S. officials remain concerned about the threat of future attacks.

While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.  U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.

The State Department’s alert said all U.S. citizens should continue to exercise vigilance when traveling to “tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets,” and stated that places such as “hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks.”

Additionally, it requests that U.S. citizens keep a watchful eye out for suspicious behavior, particularly, when attending events that draw large crowds.

Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.

Lastly, it also asks travelers venturing to European countries to “check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.”

The department clarified the alert was not prompted by any specific event, but in light of escalating attacks in recent months and as a precaution to ensure safe travel during the summer season.

The last terror alert for Europe was issued prior to the winter holidays and expired on February 20. Monday’s alert is set to expire on September 1, 2017.

 

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