Monday, November 23, 2015

New Worldwide Travel Alert

The U.S. State Department has alerted U.S. citizens to possible risks of overseas travel due to increased terrorist threats. The alert encompasses the entire world, and expires on February 24, 2016.

This is the part I found most significant:
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. 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.

Overly broad? Yes. Even a little panic-mongering? Maybe. But I don't disagree with any part of it. Both the range and the tempo of attacks on public venues have been increasing sharply, and successful attacks will lead to more attacks. Furthermore, successful tactics will lead to more of the same. We can reasonably expect to see more active shooter attacks and fewer car bombs, as extremist groups copy the tactics that worked in Mumbai, in Kenya's Westgate Mall, in Paris, and in Mali's Radisson Hotel.

I do not live my life in a constant state of fear, even when traveling in high threat locations, and I hope you won't either. That said, there is a time to be properly cautious. Even a time to defer going to large sporting events, theaters (or theatres), open markets, and on trains and planes.

To my fellow citizens living or traveling abroad, I quote the words of Kid Sally Palumbo's grandmother in the great comic novel The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - "you watcha you ass."


Anonymous said...

Whew!! That's good to know. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Well, that didn't take long!:


Anonymous said...

TSB: This just in: Ukraine cuts off all electricity and cargo shipments to Crimea. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: The hits just keep on coming: Russian Search Helicopter Downed Near Syrian Border By US-Made Anti-Tank Missile, Rebels Claim
I wonder how those peace talks in Vienna are going? gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: My favorite site for views on Syria is Joshua Landis' Syria Comment. This article is by an ordinary Syrian who grew up in a small town now controlled by ISIS. He tells the story of his fearful return to that place and how happy the people are under ISIS control after years of having no government at all and being brutalized by the 'moderate rebels'. No crime, no fear at check points, equal justice for everyone. It shows how effectively the media distorts by never talking to the people who actually live there. gwb