On November 21, the State Department released a Travel Alert for Europe advising U.S. citizens to exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets due to a heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. The Travel Alert, a product published to highlight shorter-term events and developments, is scheduled to expire on February 20, 2017.
While OSAC is not aware of any specific or credible threats against the U.S. private sector in Europe, terrorist plots against civilian targets during the winter holiday period have been foiled in years past. In a heightened threat environment, public gatherings (especially common during the upcoming holiday season in Europe) may be viewed by threat actors as potentially attractive soft targets.
At this point in time, all ISEP programs will continue to run as usual. However, because your safety is our number one priority, we urge you to:
- Sign up for travel alerts to stay abreast and vigilant of the situation as it unfolds.
- Carry a fully charged cell phone with you at all times, in the case of
- Be vigilant in crowded tourist areas, holiday markets, on public transportation systems or where public demonstrations are gathering.
- Respond immediately to any calls or emails from ISEP staff, as it is an essential part of our Emergency & Crisis Management plan to keep you safe.
- Contact your host ISEP Coordinator if you have any problems or follow-up questions.
In the rare case that this alert becomes elevated, we want to ensure you that we have emergency plans and protocols in place to assist you immediately.
In conjunction with our global security partners, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide you with any necessary updates via email. We also recommend following #ISEPAlerts on the @ISEPStudyAbroad Twitter feed for real-time updates.