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US State Department issues Europe Travel Alert throughout the holiday season

The US State department issued a Travel Alert for Europe after France foiled an ISIS-linked plot over the weekend. In anti-terror raids in Strasbourg and Marseilles, French authorities arrested seven people after anti-terror raids in Strasbourg and Marseilles, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Monday. The suspects arrested in Marseilles and Strasbourg are between 29 and 37 years old and are of French, Moroccan and Afghan nationality. Only the Moroccan suspect was known to investigators, after they received intelligence from a “neighboring country.”

State Department Travel Alert

The Department of State alerts U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets.  This Travel Alert expires on February 20, 2017.

Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.  U.S. citizens should also be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning. Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.

While extremists have carried out attacks in Belgium, France, Germany, and Turkey in the past year, the Department remains concerned about the potential for attacks throughout Europe.  If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.  Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds, when possible.  Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.  U.S. citizens should:

Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

Have an emergency plan of action ready. Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

European authorities continue to conduct raids and disrupt terror plots.  We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism.  Information is routinely shared between the United States and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

This Travel Alert expires on February 20, 2017.

source: US State Department

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One comment

  1. And don’t dress like a typical American tourist (they are quite desent in general though): drop the white sneakers and the golf pants. Don’t make yourself a target.
    Security services need to be right all the time, terrorist just need to get it ‘right’ only once….
    A set of terrorist attacks during the season will but the continent and the EU under pressure. I don’t think the current political establishment in France would survive another round of attacks.