US warns its citizens worldwide against ‘less sophisticated’ terrorism
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US warns its citizens worldwide against ‘less sophisticated’ terrorism

Terror groups are ‘intent on attacking Americans wherever they are,’ says State Department, highlighting danger of car-rammings, stabbings and shootings at ‘soft’ targets

People lay flowers in the street of Nice to pay tribute to the victims the day after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people, on July 15, 2016. (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)
People lay flowers in the street of Nice to pay tribute to the victims the day after a gunman smashed a truck into a crowd of revellers celebrating Bastille Day, killing at least 84 people, on July 15, 2016. (AFP Photo/Anne-Christine Poujoulat)

In a new worldwide travel warning, the US State Department urges Americas to watch out for knives, guns and car-ramming attacks.

“Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack to more effectively target crowds,” says the warning, “including the use of edged weapons, pistols, and vehicles as weapons.”

It notes that US government facilities worldwide remain “at a heightened state of alert” and may have to “temporarily close or periodically suspend public services to assess their security posture.”

Terrorist groups “including ISIS, al-Qa’ida, their associates, and those inspired by such organizations, are intent on attacking US citizens wherever they are,” the State Department cautions. “Extremists may use conventional or non-conventional weapons,” it says, and cautions that potential “soft” targets include “high-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.); hotels, clubs, and restaurants; places of worship; schools; parks; shopping malls and markets; tourism infrastructure; public transportation systems and airports.”

In this Dec. 15, 2014 file photo, the State Department is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez, File)
The State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez, File)

Kidnapping is a threat to Americans “in multiple regions,” it says.

And “in the wake of well-publicized attacks against commercial aircraft in Egypt by ISIS and Somalia by al-Shabaab, the Department remains concerned that terrorists could again seek to down aircraft using concealed explosives or hijack commercial flights.”

In Israel in January, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem killed four soldiers and injured 16 others by ramming his truck into a group of soldiers getting off a bus at a popular promenade in Jerusalem.

Last July a truck ramming in Nice, France, left 84 people dead and many more injured. In December 12 people were killed after a vehicle plowed through a Christmas market in an IS-claimed attack. An Israeli woman was among those killed and her husband was seriously injured in the attack.

The lengthy warning lists specific dangers by region. The Israel, West Bank and Gaza warning is here.

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