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Briton and US issues European terror warning for travellers

The US State Department warning that there was an increased threat of a terrorist attack in either the UK, France or Germany was a reminder that the threat of attack is never far away and not limited to more remote destinations.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and their French counterparts had little option to follow suit and even the Germans joined in reluctantly warning their citizens.

Such warnings are not taken lightly and suggest that credible intelligence was received regarding a significant increase in risk. The suggestion was that a ‘Mumbai style attack’ was being planned, targeting a European destination and most likely a high profile target such as Paris or London; with transport infrastructure and places of large public and tourist gathering being high on the list.

A ‘Mumbai style attack’ suggests a group of well armed terrorists attacking several ‘targets’ at the same time with automatic weapons and explosives. The aim is causing maximum casualties and being utterly indiscriminate; in Mumbai this approach led to the death of 174 people of many different nationalities and many different faiths.  

At this time there is no suggestion that people should not travel to these destinations, but rather that they should take extra care and report anything suspicious to the local authorities.

It does go to show that although we talk a lot about the risks in developing countries in this blog, the risks in the ‘developed world’ may be different, but are real. 

Tourists are always easy targets, travel make us more vulnerable through unfamiliarity and anyone undertaking travel to any part of the world should take additional care and do their research before they leave. The first thing to do is to visit the FCO Travel by Country website to see the latest advice on the destination you are planning to visit.


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Source – The Independent 

Date – 4th October 2010

Submitted by – Peter Mayhew