European terrorist threat

In World News on October 8, 2010 at 6:03 pm

By: Kristen Hegel

            On September 28, US officials issued a “credible but not specific terrorist threat” warning. This warning included the European countries of the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Patrolling under a popular tourist spot, the Eiffel Tower, a French soldier watches for anything suspicious. Photo courtesy of Google images

            The US may be involved as well, considering that the Department of Homeland Security says homegrown terrorism is the biggest threat, but the most recent news from DHS states that the possible terrorists’ plots are not related to the US. “At this time, there is no indication that the reported threat is directed specifically toward the United States, its citizens, or infrastructure; however we assess that Al Qaeda and its affiliates continue to plot against the Homeland and US allies,” a DHS bulletin stated.

            Within the past month, news of terrorist activity in America and in Europe has overwhelmed the public. Many warnings have been issued and people are taking precautions. “We are not, repeat not, advising Americans not to go to Europe,” Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of management of the State Department, said. Although the State Department is not telling people not to go, they are urging that traveling Americans be very cautious. The Obama Administration also warned Americans that attacks on public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure were potential. Past attacks on subways, rail systems and aviation and naval services were also noted. The current warning sits one level below a travel warning, advising Americans to not travel to Europe.

            According to officials, it is possible that Al Qaeda, under Osama Bin Laden’s rule, is trying to create mayhem in Europe. If true, it will be the most involved role Bin Laden has taken part in since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. Many supposed targets include tourist attractions in Europe and possibly five European airports. Potential targets are the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the luxury Hotel Adlon in Berlin, the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Berlin’s Central Station and its landmark TV tower. An official released a statement saying that security has been tightened around the royal family as well.

            American and European officials have been in contact, discussing the recent threats that lead up to the warning. Japan also issued a travel alert for Europe a day later. Some say that the travel warning could affect tourism, either way people need to follow precautions to stay safe. For the US, the travel alert will expire January 31, 2011. Until then, hopefully officials can trace down and prevent terrorist threats.

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