Rebecca Perring, Express, May 2, 2017
Americans have been told they are under threat of terror attacks in Europe, with the US State Department issuing a worrying travel alert.
Barbaric Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda “have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe”, the US government said.
It added: “US citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathisers or self-radicalised extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.”
Transport hubs, hotels, airports, markets and shopping centres, tourist spots, places of worship and government buildings were listed among the potential targets for a terror attack.
Citizens travelling to Europe were advised to check the US embassy website in the country of travel for recent security messages.
The State Department’s previous travel alert for Europe expired in February and the current one expires on September 1.
The alert was not prompted by a specific threat, according to officials, but rather the continued risk of attacks especially ahead of the summer holidays.
Americans were told to expect delays during security screenings and to have an emergency plan. They were also advised to register the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
It comes after the State Department issued a Worldwide Caution, which contained a general advisory for Europe and specific travel warnings for Ukraine and Turkey, in March.
The new alert comes just a few days before the French General Election 2017. Security has been heightened in France ahead of the votes after Francois Fillon was the target of an intended attack which was foiled last month.
A gunman also opened fire on the Champs Elysee in Paris on April 20, killing a police officer and wounding another before he was killed himself.