USGOV Issues Europe Travel Alert
ISIS Urges the Taking of Hostages For Slaughter
May 6, 2017
What You Need To Know
On multiple occasions this week AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security threats. Most pressing for this report, on Monday subscribers were notified of the release of a U.S. State Department Travel Alert for Europe, warning U.S. citizens of the continued threat of terrorist attacks throughout Europe.
” Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom 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. While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the State Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized 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. U.S. citizens should exercise additional vigilance in these and similar locations, in particular during the upcoming summer travel season when large crowds may be common.
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.
If you are traveling between countries in Europe, please check the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in your destination city for any recent security messages. Review security information from local officials, who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country. “
This Travel Alert is very important to share, particularly with the many hundreds of thousands of U.S. and Canadian students who will travel abroad this summer and are unlikely to be paying any attention to current events of this type. Truth be told, their trips will likely be saturated with activities at the various types of soft targets specifically warned about in this travel guidance!
If such an individual is within your circle of family or friends, you would be doing them (and their parents) a major favor by sitting them down for a few min and making them read the Travel Alert. Force the issue. Impress on them the need to be proactive in their security considerations, including actually checking with the embassies regarding local safety and security bulletins, areas to avoid, etc.
Above all, try to achieve an some level of understanding of the need to maintain a mindset of security awareness as the party rolls on…
The simple reality is that the romantic idea of backpacking through Europe, staying in youth hostels, exploring Paris at night with exotic people from far away lands, zipping here and there with a Eurail Pass and pub crawls in this or that town… has become considerably more dangerous since the start of the Middle East / North African migrant crisis in 2014-2015. Add to this the rapid exodus of foreign fighters from battlefields in Iraq and Syria back to their home countries across Europe, and it is easy to see the need to stay security minded and to have a plan if things go sideways.
This is our world, but just a little forethought and planning goes a long way in terms of managing personal risk.
(PRO TIP: Visit the embassy and find a Marine Guard. Ask them for a 30 second no shi**er on the local security situation (safe parts of town, where to avoid, etc..). Be courteous and respectful (they are working) and you will ultimately leave with a great sitrep and rock solid local insights / advice. Have a map and pen ready to hand them.)
Islamic State Urges Hostage Taking
On Friday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of the release of the latest issue of the Islamic State’s online magazine known as ‘Rumiyah’ (Safe PDF HERE) which, through it’s regular section known as ‘Just Terror Tactics’, instructs followers in how to carry out a diverse array of terror attacks. In this issue, the emphasis is on hostage taking.
” The objective of hostage-taking in the lands of disbelief – and specifically in relation to just terror operations – is not to hold large numbers of the kuffar hostage in order to negotiate one’s demands. Rather, the objective is to create as much carnage and terror as one possibly can until Allah decrees his appointed time and the enemies of Allah storm his location or succeed in killing him. This is because the hostile kafir only understands one language and that is the language of force, the language of killing, stabbing and slitting throats, chopping off heads, flattening them under trucks, and burning them alive, ‘until they give the jizyah (disbelievers tax) while they are in a state of humiliation’. “
The guidance provided includes tactics for the acquisition and use of a firearm, selecting target locations, methods of execution, and even instruction on how to lure victims, including falsely advertising a property for rent in order to get the targets to enter the dwelling. They even go as far as making suggestions such as setting a room aside for the storage of bodies, staggering target appointments and first using a club or bat to the head to subdue a target “before slaughtering them.”
It is also important to note that the French language version of this issue of Rumiyah calls for attacks on politicians, voters, and polling staff ahead of France’s May 7 run-off election.
The depth of evil in this issue is breathtaking, but well worth the read by law enforcement, first responders, counterrorism professional and anyone else who wishes to stay abreast of the latest threats and tactics being employed by Jihadists in western nations.
Laptop Ban to be Extended
In March of this year AlertsUSA reported on new restrictions surrounding the different types of electronic devices allowed in the cabins of non-stop US-bound flights from eight Muslim-majority countries (Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey). Those traveling to the US from these countries are now barred from bringing laptops, tablets, or any devices “larger than a cellphone” as a carry-on items. These items must now be transported as checked luggage.
Sources within DHS/TSA tell AlertsUSA that barring a major change in the current threat environment, this laptop ban will likely be extended to include U.S.-bound flights from Britain in the coming months. Expect it and plan accordingly.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.
AlertsUSA issued the following related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
5/1 – USGOV issues new travel alert warning of continued threat of terror attacks throughout Europe. Vigilance urged, partic during upcoming summer travel season.
5/5 – New ISIS magazine ‘Rumiyah’ urges French Muslims to carry out election day attacks. Also calls for hostage taking and the sowing of terror via brutal murders.
5/3 – AlertsUSA monitoring active shooter situation, North Lake College, Irving, TX. Campus on lockdown. Shooter at large. Add’l alerts as warranted.
5/1 – AlertsUSA monitoring reports of several underground explosions, Scotia Plaza Building, Toronto financial district. Cause unknown. Add’l alerts as warranted.
5/1 – At least 4 stabbed w/ one dead near Gregory gym at University of Texas, Austin. One suspect in custody. Possible accomplice at large. AlertsUSA monitoring.
5/1 – AlertsUSA monitoring ongoing active shooter situation near Dolphin Rd. & Military Parkway, Dallas, TX. At least one first responder shot. Shooter at large.
5/1 – AlertsUSA warns of May Day events / protests to be held nationwide on Mon, May 1st. Violence anticipated at larger gatherings. See email for add’l info.
4/30 – Mass casualty shooting incident, La Jolla, CA (San Diego). At least 5 casualties, shooter reported down. AlertsUSA monitoring…
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World News Roundup
May 6, 2017
Other Developments We Are Following
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Brazil jails eight militants over Rio Olympic plot
Venezuela’s Dystopian Nightmare
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Brexit: English language ‘losing importance’ – EU’s Juncker
German police arrest suspected ‘Islamic State’ militant near Leipzig
Russian troops to receive advanced satellite communications vehicles
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Russia a Threat To NATO’s World Order In the West
Denmark Proud to Lead NATO Atlantic Fleet Against ‘Russian Aggression’
Russia’s New Tsirkon Cruise Missile
Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and Vatican in first foreign trip
Saudi Arabia, U.S. in talks on billions in arms sales
How terrorists freely enter Afghanistan and move around unhindered
Moscow is serious about upping its ground game in Syria
Russia’s Lavrov, U.S. Tillerson discuss de-escalation in Syria
Russia: No US Coalition Jets Allowed in Syrian De-Escalation Zones
Russia says has already stopped bombing proposed Syria safe zones
Will Trump save the Middle East peace process?
North Korea accused the CIA of plotting to assassinate Kim Jong-Un
IAEA chief: North Korea continues nuclear test efforts
Trump and Turnbull ‘get along great’ after rocky start to relationship
After six decades of Nork threats, uncertainty is nothing new for S. Koreans
Chinese navy hands over three pirates to Somali authorities
China’s military tech is becoming less of a joke and more of a threat
The Philippines in Play
ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
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Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
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