WASHINGTON, DC — The Department of State has alerted U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. The alert, which was issued on Nov. 21 and expires on Feb. 20, 2017, advises Americans to exercise caution at holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets.
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 are advised to 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.