The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert yesterday due to 'increased terror threats.' What does this mean you should be aware of as you travel during the Thanksgiving and upcoming Christmas holiday season?

 

According to the statement issued by the US Bureau of Consular Affairs

current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.  These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests.  This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

 

Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services.  In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali.  ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.

The alert offers the following suggestions

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation and be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places.

Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.
U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.

Follow the instructions of local authorities.  Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

The Bureau of Consular affairs also recommends enrolling in its free STEP (Smart Traveller Enrollment Program), which offers security updates and messages and makes you easier to locate in an emergency situation.

You can also receive information from the bureau via their Facebook page and Twitter feed.