US Issues Travel Alert Until February 24

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The travel alert issued by the State Department because of terrorist threats lasts well beyond the holiday travel period. It stretches a full three months, all the way until February 24.

The alert:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

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.

The warning say “U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance.” But much of the advice is much more ominous than that.

Industry group Airlines for America expects 25.3 million people to travel between November 20 and December 1, This forecast is for domestic travel, while the State Department warning concerns foreign travel only. The airline industry has risks on two fronts, but any kind of domestic incident would be of particular concern.