National / News / October 14, 2010

Travelers beware

On Oct. 3, the U.S. State Department issued a terrorism alert for all individuals traveling in Europe during the period from Oct. 3, 2010 through Jan. 31, 2011. The alert states that terrorist organizations, specifically al-Qaeda, are known to be planning terrorist attacks, particularly in Great Britain.

The alert does not contain any specific information regarding targets, only that there is “the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure.  Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services.”

Speaking about the alert, Director of Campus Safety John Schlaf advised that people should “keep an open mind and realize [terrorism] can affect any one of us at any time.”

Schlaf continued to say that, “the most important thing would be not to make the mistake and think that those alerts and directions are really meant for someone else and not specifically for us. I think that many times we convince ourselves that good information from good sources is not meant for us.”

While the alert is limited to Europe, Schlaf advised that students should keep the State Department’s advice in mind wherever they travel, even in the United States. The State Department has issued a Worldwide Caution about travel in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to the effect that U.S. interests in those regions are under threat of terrorist attack. The report is, again, most focused on public transportation and tourist sites, citing specific attacks against trains, subways, air and maritime travel in London, Madrid, Glasgow and Moscow.

Furthermore, the recent bombings in Kampala, Uganda have signified an increased threat against public gatherings in East Africa and around the world in general.

Ben Reeves


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