U.S. state department officials have issued a travel alert for Europe, warning people about . It’s a grim sign of “normalisation”, say experts, showing that Europe is now similar to other parts of the world.
Americans like to go to Europe in the summer – and US officials are now sending them off with a formal alert.
US travellers should watch out for potential on people dining in restaurants, visiting shopping areas and riding buses, explain the officials in their memo, which was posted on the federal agency’s website.
“Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists, as do other large-scale sporting events and public gathering places throughout Europe,” the new State Department alert reads.The travel alert, which expires on August 31, follows increased worry after two large terrorist attacks in Europe, first in Paris and then two months ago in Brussels, Belgium.
The United States has for some time warned U.S. citizens to stay vigilant in crowded settings abroad. But U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials believe Europe is in for a summer similar to last year’s in the United States.
These kinds of travel alerts are routine, say people who’ve worked on issues at the state department. Besides that, it isn’t even a dire notification.
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“It’s an alert – not a warning,” says Dartmouth College’s Daniel Benjamin, a former state department terrorism coordinator. “It’s not at all unusual.”
These kinds of alerts are issued on a regular basis, he says, as a way of telling US citizens to be careful when they visit other countries. France’s state of emergency covers Euro 2016 and Tour de France The alert came just hours after the French president, François Hollande, said that remained the biggest to the Uefa Euro 2016 football championship, which is scheduled in June and July.
Announcing the alert, the State Department said: “Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for , as do other large-scale sporting events and public gathering places throughout Europe.”
The alert noted that France has extended its state of emergency through 26 July to cover the championship and the Tour de France.
The Euro 2016 football championship, which runs from June 10 to July 10, is being held in France, which is under an extended state of emergency following last year’s deadly attacks in Paris.
Another major event held in the country is cycling’s Tour de France, while millions of people are expected in Krakow, Poland, for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Day in late July.
Al Jazeera’s Alan Fisher, reporting from Washington DC, said this was “a standard warning from the state department ahead of what could become a very busy summer.
“They are saying, ‘Look, if you’re travelling to any of these events, if you’re moving around Europe, please be aware of the risks involved,” he added.
“Clearly, given the big summer of sport that is coming up in Europe and concerns with recent incidents in Belgium and France, there is heightened concern.”
The State Department also mentioned the Catholic church’s World Youth Day, beginning 26 July in Krakow, which it said is expected to draw 2.5 million visitors. France will host the European Soccer Championship from June 10 – July 10. Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for , as do other large-scale sporting events and public gathering places throughout Europe. France has extended its state of emergency through July 26 to cover the period of the soccer championship, as well as the Tour de France cycling race which will be held from July 2- 24. We are just surprised that they did not blame this on Brexit. Governments perform false flags to expand power
Even economist.com chimed in about it saying:
YESTERDAY, the United States issued a travel alert aimed at those thinking of visiting Europe, warning them of the risk of potential terrorist attacks “throughout” the continent. On the face of it this seems odd. No one denies that the threat of terrorism this side of the pond is real. France is still operating under a state of emergency following the attacks in Paris earlier this year. It will soon host the European football championship, the world’s third-biggest sporting event after the World Cup and the Olympics. Few doubt that terror groups have a beady eye on the event—least of all France itself, which is deploying 90,000 police, soldiers and security guards to watch over the tournament.
It seems reasonable, therefore, for the State Department to point out such specific concerns. But how useful is it to apply an alert to an entire continent? Shamila Chaudhary, a counter-terrorism expert and former official with the Obama administration, told the BBC that terrorism in Europe was now “normalised”. Europeans, she said, “have been in denial about their domestic terrorism.” But Europe is a large and diverse place. The risks of being caught in a terrorist incident are miniscule. It seems as bizarre to issue an alert for Europe as it would be for all of Asia or Africa (or indeed the United States).
Travel “alerts” do not advise people to reconsider whether to travel in the first place—that is the job of the State Department’s more strident travel “warnings”. And according to John Kirby, a government official, the current guidance, which is an extension of that issued after the attacks on Brussels in March, is not based on specific intelligence. But Gulliver is left with a feeling of bemusement that a visit to Europe is now akin to an act of bravery.
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