U.S. issues travel alert for Americans in Europe due to terror attacks

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The U.S. State Department has issued a travel alert for Americans who plan to travel to Europe. That alert is effective for at least the next four months.

The alert is a response to a sequence of recent terror attacks throughout Europe, including France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. It also goes hand-in-hand with the beginning of the summer travel season.

"While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks," the State Department said in the alert. "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." 

The State Department is alerting Americans traveling abroad to be especially vigilant in public, such as at markets, malls, tourist spots, airports, transit hubs, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, high-profile events, educational institutions, and more.

"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," the State Department said. 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."

This is the fourth travel alert for Europe in the last year.

This isn't a response to any specific threat. It is a general travel alert because of the recent attacks. The alert expires September 1.