Foreign Ministry warns of heightened terrorism threat in Europe & US during holiday season
The Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to citizens, urging those traveling to European and US cities in the coming months to exercise caution, as the holiday season may prompt terrorist attacks in popular destinations.
In a brief message posted online, the Situational-Crisis Center said there was an increased probability of terrorist attacks during Christmas and the New Year, between December 20 and January 20. It added the hashtags #Europe and #USA.
Last Friday, the Russian federal tourism agency, Rosturism, posted a similar warning on its website, asking companies selling package tours to notify their clients about the threat, and to advise tourists to consider the risks when planning their journeys.
The warnings were posted shortly after the US State Department released a notice regarding an increased risk of terrorist attacks all over Europe during the holiday season. However, the Russian ministry added the US as a potential target for attacks. The Russian warning was more confined in relation to the period of heightened risk, with the US notification stating that the threat would wane only after January 31.
Last year’s festive season in Europe was marred by deadly attacks at a Christmas market in Berlin and at a nightclub in Istanbul. The Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.