Friday, October 8, 2010

Europe Travel Alert | Steering clear of some places (not always possible even if you're prudent)

Red alertImage by cancelmoria via FlickrThis is a tad late but the US Government issued a Travel Alert last Sunday, October 3 for Europe. We can't be sure of this but we think this is the first time that a travel alert was issued for an entire continent.   

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.
Read the whole thing here --

There was also a Sunday briefing by Under Secretary Patrick F. Kennedy (M) on the Europe Travel Alert via teleconference. See the transcript here.

One of the taken questions during the briefing:

When did the State Department last issue a travel alert of this nature? Were travel alerts issued after the terrorist bombings of public transport in London and Madrid?
Answer:  On September 9, 2010, the State Department issued a Worldwide Travel Alert urging U.S. citizens to exercise caution due to possible anti-U.S. demonstrations in response to stated plans by a Florida church to burn Qur'ans.
After the 2004 train bombing in Madrid, the Department issued a Travel Alert (then called a Public Announcement) on April 5, 2004. Following the London terror attacks, the Department on August 2, 2005 updated its Worldwide Caution with references to the attacks.

The Christian Science Monitor has now published eight steps Americans can take concerning the Europe travel alert. Item #6 is below: 
6. Steer clear of embassies
Know the location of the nearest embassy or consulate. This might come in handy if you have lost your passport. However, the Control Risks Group, which does its own threat assessments, warns that embassies are among the likely targets as well as government buildings, transportation hubs, and some high profile commercial buildings.

“A prudent person would steer clear of the embassies or consulates,” says Jim Sano, the president of Geographic Expeditions in San Francisco and a travel expert.

You can "steer clear of the embassies or consulates," unless, of course, you work there.

We just wished all our embassies over there already have the keep, motte, bailey and moat defense combination now instead of 2017.

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