The U.S. Department of State issued on Monday a travel alert for Europe during the holiday season. The alert expires on February 20, 2017.
The alert speaks of a “heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe” and advises U.S. citizens who happen to be in Europe for the holidays to be cautious “at holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets.”
The alert also suggests that U.S. travelers to Europe should “exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.”
The alert is based on information that the Islamic State and affiliates and other terrorist organizations continue to plan terrorist hits in Europe, especially during the holiday season and in other festive events.
Read the full alert below:
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.