State Department issues worldwide travel alert to U.S. citizens

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World News

The State Department released a worldwide travel alert to U.S. citizens, Monday due to increased terrorist threats.

Current information suggests ISIL and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions, according the State Department. The travel alert expires on Feb. 24, 2016.

This alert comes after 130 people were killed in Paris attacks on Nov. 13. ISIS has claimed responsibility for these attacks.

Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members from ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq, the release states. Officials also report there is continued threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but carried out on an individual basis.

“These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests,” according to a press release from the State Department.

Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theaters, open markets and aviation services, according to the release. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali.

ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.

“U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation,” the release states. “Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowded places.”

The State Department also suggests to exercise caution during the holiday season at festival or events.

“U.S. Citizens should monitor media and local sources and factor updated information information into personal travel plans and activities,” the release states.

The State Department also release the following tips:

• Follow the instructions of local authorities. Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.

• Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.

• Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.

• Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For further information:

• See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution,Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Country Specific Information.

• Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.

• Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

• Follow State Department on Twitter and Facebook.