Travelers should be alert to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe and many other countries, particularly during the holiday season. Extremists may continue to focus on tourist locations such as Christmas holiday markets, shopping malls, airports, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, and other soft targets frequented by Westerners in addition to government buildings and events. Since 24 November, half a dozen letter bombs were sent to high-profile targets in Spain. As a result the interior minister ordered increased security measures at all embassies and consulates across the country Spain, as well as other sites that require special protection. On 5 December, the German city of Duesseldorf closed Christmas markets as a precaution after police received a phone call from an individual who threatened to crash a truck into the market at the city hall. A similar incident occurred in Berlin at the Alexanderplatz Christmas market due to a phone-call from a person threatening to plow his car into the crowds a little over a week ago. Terrorists persist in employing a variety of tactics, including firearms, explosives, using vehicles as ramming devices, and sharp-edged weapons that are difficult to detect prior to an attack. Travelers should be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning. Travelers should also avoid large crowds and locations in which they are easily exposed, such as outdoor markets and cafes.
DISCLAIMER and Hold Harmless Disclaimer: LSDS™ gathers information from multiple sources and offers insight and perspective to travelers. Sources cannot be validated for accuracy in every instance. Travelers assume all risk associated with their travel and are responsible for the decisions associated with travel and for their own safety. Users of this reference document agree, to hold harmless LSDS™ (LLC) its employees and clients associated with any risk or injury incurred during travel.