Monday, October 4, 2010

Travel Alert Issued For U.S Citizens In Fear Of Terrorists Attacks In Europe

Click to read full story from CNN
(CNN) -- The United States issued a general travel alert for Americans in Europe on Sunday amid concerns that al Qaeda or related groups plan attacks similar to the 2008 massacre in the Indian city of Mumbai.
"U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling," the notice from the U.S. State Department said. "We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including al Qaeda."

The advisory is not meant to tell Americans to avoid travel, but to take "common-sense precautions" in case of trouble, Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy told reporters Sunday.

"If they see unattended packages or hear loud noises or see something beginning to happen that they should quickly move away from them," he said. The warning urges them to be cautious in public places like tourist sites and airports or while riding public transportation, and Americans should know how to contact the U.S. Embassy and consider registering their travel plans there, he said.

In addition, thousands of U.S. troops based in Germany were placed under a curfew Friday night and were ordered not to wear their uniforms off base, according to an order obtained by CNN.

Kennedy said the State Department has issued travel alerts for Europe for "a variety of reasons" in the past, including the recent eruption of a volcano in Iceland that snarled air travel across the continent.

The State Department said worldwide travel alerts have been issued for U.S. citizens in the past, most recently in early September after the pastor of a small Florida church threatened to burn copies of the Quran, the Islamic holy book.

Previous alerts were issued after the 2004 al Qaeda bombings of commuter trains in Spain's capital Madrid and after the 2005 bombings of subway trains and buses in London, England.

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