EU TERROR WARNING: US issues winter travel alert amid heightened threat

Friday, November 17, 2017
By Paul Martin

AMERICA has issued a warning to US citizens travelling to Europe between November and January.


The US State Department warned of an increased terror threat over the upcoming Christmas and New Year season, advising travellers to exercise “caution” at festivals and big events.

The State Department warned the recent wave of terror attacks in France, Sweden, Britain, Spain and Finland showed radical groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda were still able to orchestrate and execute major assaults in Europe, despite recent efforts to crackdown on extremism.

Referring to when a 24-year-old ISIS militant from Tunisia ploughed a van into a crowd of Christmas shoppers, killing 12 people and injuring dozens more, the warning read: “Last year, a mass casualty attack occurred at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, in December.”

The State Department also said while local governments continued to carry out counter-terrorism operations in an effort to smash jihadi cells, the US remained “concerned about the potential for future attacks”.

The statement read: “US citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathisers or self-radicalised extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning. Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs and markets/shopping malls as viable targets.

“In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, airports and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. US citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.”

US officials added that EU-based terrorists employed a variety of rudimentary and hard-to-detect terror tactics, including firearms, home-made explosive devices, vehicles (as car ramming devices), and sharp-edged weapons.

The State Department, which urged citizens to “stay in touch with their family” and “have an emergency plan of action ready”, said that the travel alert expired on January 31, 2018.

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