US State Department Issues Warning to Americans Traveling Overseas
The United States State Department has advised all citizens to be cautious when taking trips abroad in light of the “continuing threat of terrorist actions, political violence, and criminal activity against US citizens.”
2017 witnessed terror attacks in Manchester, UK, Barcelona, Spain, and on the famous Champs-Elysees boulevard in Paris, France.
“As terrorist attacks, political upheaval, and violence often take place without warning, US citizens are strongly encourage to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness when traveling,” the State Department said in a document released Thursday afternoon.
Particularly, travelers are urged to visit travel.state.gov and look up each country “before planning a trip,” DoS said.
Extremist elements around the globe are increasingly targeting “soft” targets, such as sporting events, rallies, holiday gatherings, hotels, clubs, religious institutions, public transportation hubs, airports, schools, and shopping centers.
One such threat that hasn’t quite made it out of the Middle East but may soon start appearing in the West consists of drones armed with dirty bombs. Tactical uses for drones haven’t left “the battlefield,” the Canadian Security Intelligence Service’s Chris Rousseau said last week in Washington, but “the question is at what point somebody’s going to get the idea to use that here.”
US travelers and tourists are encouraged to register in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program “to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency…. the Department uses these security messages to convey information about terrorist threats, security incidents, planned demonstrations, natural disasters, etc.”