The weather is warming and many Americans finalizing their summer vacation plans. Please be careful, as many Muslim jihadists are also planning to take advantage of the fine weather for one of their favorite pursuits – terror attacks.
While an American non-Muslim traveling to a majority-Muslim nation should also take extra care, it is also a sign of the times that a person travelling to Europe must now use similar precautions and vigilance.
Recent events make clear the elevated danger that exists in the nations of western Europe.
Less than two weeks ago, on April 20, a jihadist shot and killed a Paris police officer on the world-famous Champs Elysees. ISIS has claimed responsibility, as is so often the case.
Less than one month ago, on April 7, an asylum seeking man from Uzbekistan mowed down pedestrians with a truck on a busy Stockholm street. Fifteen people were injured and four killed in the terrorist attack.
In London, on March 22, Muslim convert Khalid Masood used a Hyundai Tucson to run down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge – killing four people and leaving many injured – before heading to the Parliament building and killing a police officer before being brought to justice.
A convert to the Islamic faith, Masood – born in Great Britain with the birth name Adrian Russell Ajao – converted later in life. He is an example of the danger of radical Islam; it is not just those born to the faith or from Muslim-majority societies that pose a threat.
On February 3, a machete-wielding attacker shouting ‘Allahu Akbar!’ attempted to attack a group of French soldiers guarding the Louvre in Paris. His attack came moments after being told he would not be allowed to enter the Louvre Carousel shopping center while carrying two backpacks.
These are, of course, just some of the more recent terrorist attacks launched by jihadists on citizens and tourists in Europe. Last year saw many such attacks as well, including multiple mass murders in Germany and France.
According to an article in Breitbart, a terror alert has been issued by the U.S. State Department warning Americans travelling to Europe to use extra care and precautions due to the spate of recent jihadist attacks in the past month. The State Department warned of the Islamic State’s ability to carry out attacks in Europe, and that the threat will increase during the warm summer months and travel season.
The alert stated:
Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities as viable targets. In addition, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, airports, and other soft targets remain priority locations for possible attacks. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.
Of course, Americans could simply play it safe and take trips within the U.S. After all, there are fifty states and more things to do than could be done in a lifetime. Just be vigilant if you travel to Orlando, or San Bernardino, or Boston, or…