On 3 October 2010, the Department of State issued a Travel Alert cautioning U.S. citizens be mindful of the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe. This Alert is based on credible information which suggests that Al Qaeda and its affiliates may be planning a terrorist attack in Europe. The United States is working closely with European governments, which are aware of this threat and have taken measures to address the temporarily elevated risk.

Less severe than a Travel Warning, Travel Alerts are used to disseminate information to American travelers about temporary conditions that may pose a significant security risk. The State Department issues Travel Alerts in anticipation of or response to natural disasters, post-electoral unrest, coups, terrorist activity, anniversaries of terrorist attacks, and high-profile events that might be seen as potential targets for terrorists. American citizens should always be vigilant and mindful of security concerns whenever traveling abroad.

More information about this and about Travel Alerts in general can be found on the State Department’s website. This Alert is currently set to expire on 31 January 2011, and the State Department regularly updates its website as conditions change. You may also call the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 1-888-407-4747 (toll free in the U.S. and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (for international callers).