The State Department issued a travel alert to all U.S. citizens warning of the “heightened risk of terrorist attacks” in Europe during the holiday season.
The blanket warning covered all of Europe and noted “widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.”
The warning covered all locations from hotels, restaurants and clubs to airports, places of worship and government and educational institutions, saying:
“Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack.”
The alert urges travelers to be vigilant and join the government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which allows the participants to receive security messages and makes it easier for local consulates and family and friends to locate the traveler.