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Global Holiday Alert

Updated on 26 November 2019

Heightened Risk of Terrorist Attacks and Strikes

Travelers should be alert to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe and

many other countries, particularly during the holiday season.  Extremists 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


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.

There is also an increased risk of strikes throughout the holiday season as the increased

number of travelers makes for an opportune time for strikers to have maximum impact.

Mitigating Factors to Apply

  • Exercise additional vigilance at holiday festivals and events, places of worship, and locations with large crowds

  • Avoid all protests, demonstrations and large gatherings, which have the possibility of attracting unwanted attention

  • Follow the instructions of local authorities

  • Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities

  • Notify local authorities of suspicious activity

  • Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions

  • Avoid government buildings and tourist locations if possible

  • Avoid travel through major cities, instead using bypasses

  • Avoid using public transportation services

  • Avoid locations in which you remain easily exposed, such as outdoor cafes and restaurants

  • Have an emergency communication/check-in plan of action ready


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