US state dept. warns citizens to be cautious on European holidays

Published on : Wednesday, November 23, 2016

us-state-deptThe State Department doesn’t really want to ruin your holiday cheer. But the agency has an important message for U.S. holiday makers bound for Europe this winter.

 
On Nov. 21, the department issued a Europe Travel Alert urging U.S. citizens to “exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets.” The threat is terrorist attacks.

 
“Credible information indicates the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or Da’esh), al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continue to plan terrorist attacks in Europe, focusing on the upcoming holiday season and associated events,” the post states. “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.”

 
Will Cocks, a spokesman with the department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the alert is not based on one specific threat but stems from a general heightened concern about terrorist activity. Nor is the department telling Americans to pull the pushpin on Europe.

 
“We aren’t telling people to stop travelling,” he said, “but asking them to take this extra time to avoid the risks.”

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