TERRORIST THREAT

US warns vacationers of threat of terrorist attacks in Europe

Spain on high alert in run-up to expected second consecutive bumper holiday season

Agencias
US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry.
US President Barack Obama and State Secretary John Kerry.J. WATSON / AFP

The US State Department issued a travel alert on Tuesday, warning its citizens about “the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centers and transportation.”

“The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events,” says the note.

Spain broke a record for international tourist arrivals last year with over 68 million visitors, of whom 1.5 million came from the United States

Washington authorities specifically mention the European Soccer Championship being hosted by France from June 10 to July 10, as well as the Tour de France, between July 2 and 24.

The alert also mentions the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day event in Krakow (Poland), which is expected to draw up to 2.5 million visitors between July 26 and 31.

While the US State Department does not specifically mention Spain, the country has been on a level four alert for months, acknowledging that there is a high risk of a terrorist attack.

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Over 18 million tourists visited Spain in the first four months of 2016 alone, representing a 13% rise from the same period last year.

The country broke a record for international tourist arrivals last year with over 68 million visitors, of whom 1.5 million came from the United States, according to the National Statistics Institute.

English version by Susana Urra.

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