US issues global travel alert citing ‘increased terrorist threats’

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015,11:08 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Washington | The US government has issued a global travel advisory for its citizens alerting them of possible risks due to increased terror threats from Islamic State and other terror groups in the aftermath of the attacks in Paris and Mali.

Current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions, according to the State Department’s latest travel advisory, issued on Monday. It noted that these attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics using conventional and non-conventional weapons and could target both official and private interests.

The State Department added that authorities believe 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 organizations but conducted on an individual basis, the State Department said.

US citizens have been advised to exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places, the State Department said. It also urges US citizens to 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 Travel Alert, which expires on February 24, comes as 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. The Islamic State terror group had claimed reponsibility for the attacks. Following the Paris attacks, armed gunmen stormed a luxury hotel in Mali last week and took hostages in which 19 people lost their lives. An al-Qaeda affiliate group has claimed responsibility for the attack.