US issues global travel alert, warns against more attacks

RSTV Bureau

ObamaIn the wake of the recent terror attacks in Paris and Mali, the US has issued a global travel advisory for its citizens. The advisory alerts US citizens of possible risks due to increased terror threats from the Islamic State (IS) and other terror groups.

“Current information suggests that ISIL (also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” the US State Department said in its latest travel advisory that was issued on Monday.

The State Department said authorities also believe that the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL return from Syria and Iraq.

“Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organisations but conducted on an individual basis,” the State Department said.

In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali and the IS has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt as well. Thus, US citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation, the advisory said.

“Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events. US citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities,” it said.

The said alert expires on February 24, which is three months away. Meanwhile, a massive manhunt is underway in France and Belgium for Belgian-born Salah Abdeslam, suspected of playing a role in the horrific shooting and suicide bombings in Paris in which 130 people were killed.

Following the Paris attacks, armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Mali last week and took hostages in which 19 people were killed.

(With inputs from PTI)