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Travel Alert: Vigilance vs. Fear

From the U.S. Department of State website (http://travel.state.gov/travel), on October 3, 2010, the Bureau of Consular Affairs posted the following alert to U.S. citizens who plan to travel in Europe during the next four months:

“The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe.  Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks.  European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.

Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests.  U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.  Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.  U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.

We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including al-Qa’ida.  Information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.

We recommend U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s travel registration website. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from elsewhere in the world.

For information on general crime and security issues, U.S. citizens should also consult the Department of State’s Country-Specific Information as well as the Worldwide Caution, which can be found on the Bureau of Consular Affairs website. For further information on safety tips while traveling abroad, U.S. citizens should also consult the following website:http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/tips_1232.html

This Travel Alert expires on January 31, 2011.”

While we certainly advocate that travelers should be vigilant, we also believe that this is part of the world we live in now. There are certain people out there who will attempt to make a statement and further their own agenda by causing chaos and harming others. This travel alert is a good reminder that we should be attentive and watchful, but the government is not saying that we shouldn’t travel to Europe. They’re just saying that people should pay attention. Good advice. Not just because of potential terrorists, but because it’s a good idea in general.

So there’s no need for fear, just vigilance. Go. Travel. Have fun. Be safe.

Posted 7 years, 4 months ago at 7:51 pm.

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