US travellers to Europe over Christmas have been warned of a heightened risk of terrorist attacks.
The alert was issued by the Department of State to US citizens travelling throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season.
“US citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events,” the US State Department said.
“While local governments continue counter-terrorism operations, the department remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks.
“US citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathisers or self-radicalised extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.
“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.
“US citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations.
“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.”
The alert added: “Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain and Finland demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe.
“Last year, mass casualty attacks occurred at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany in December and a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey on New Year’s Eve.”
The travel alert is due to expire on January 31.