State Department Issues Worldwide Travel Alert
Amid concerns over widespread terror threats, agency advises American travelers to stay vigilant abroad
The U.S. State Department issued a rare global travel alert for Americans on Monday, amid concerns of more terrorist attacks across the globe. The alert comes on the heels of the November 13 attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
"Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," notes the alert. "Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis."
While travel alerts usually are issued for specific countries, this alert is marked "worldwide." Travelers going abroad during the holiday season should use extra caution.
"U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation," the alert advises. "Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events."
The alert doesn't instruct Americans to cancel their travel plans. It does suggest you:
- Follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into your travel plans and activities.
- Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
- Stay in touch with your family members and make sure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
- Register yourself in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security-related messages from the nearest Embassy and help the Embassy contact you in the event of an emergency.
The travel alert expires on February 26, at which point it may be reviewed.
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