The United States state department has warned citizens of what it described as the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe this summer – including at the Euro 2016 football championship in France and a Roman Catholic youth gathering in Poland.
In an advisory posted on May 31, the state department said: “We are alerting US citizens to the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe, targeting major events, tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centres and transportation.
“The large number of tourists visiting Europe in the summer months will present greater targets for terrorists planning attacks in public locations, especially at large events,” the state department said, adding that the travel alert was valid up to August 31.
France will host the European Soccer Championship from June 10 – July 10.
“Euro Cup stadiums, fan zones, and unaffiliated entertainment venues broadcasting the tournaments in France and across Europe represent potential targets for terrorists, as do other large-scale sporting events and public gathering places throughout Europe,” the state department said.
The travel alert noted that France has extended its state of emergency up to July 26 to cover the period of the football championship, as well as the Tour de France cycling race which will be held from July 2- 24.
The Catholic Church’s World Youth Day event is expected to draw up to 2.5 million visitors to Krakow, Poland, between July 26 and July 31, the state department said.
US citizens should be aware that local infrastructure may be strained due to the large number of visitors. Poland will impose border controls at all of its national borders from July 4 to August 2, and visitors to Poland during this period should be prepared to show their passport and undergo stricter security screening throughout Poland.
The state department said that US citizens should also exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation, be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places, follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency, monitor media and local event information sources and factor updated information into travel plans and activities, and be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
“Stay in touch with your family, have a plan if you are separated and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency,” the statement said.
European authorities continue to take steps to assure public safety and disrupt terrorist plots, the state department said.
“We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats.”