Due to the heightened threat of terrorism during the end-of-year holiday season, authorities across Europe are expected to increase security measures in their respective countries in the coming days and weeks. In particular, increased security is to be anticipated at tourist sites, high-profile events, and transportation hubs, along with associated transportation delays and crowded conditions.
International terrorist organizations, including Islamic State (IS), have repeatedly issued calls to its members and sympathizers to perpetrate attacks on high-profile European sites during the holiday season.
Terrorism continues to be a chief public concern throughout Europe in the wake of various attacks that have targeted the continent in recent years, including in Barcelona, Paris, Istanbul, Madrid, and London, prompting member states to tighten homeland security measures year-round. This generalized terrorist threat rises during holiday periods, particularly around high-profile events or wherever large numbers of people tend to congregate. On December 19, 2016, a truck deliberately drove into crowds at an outdoor Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring another 56; the perpetrator was allegedly inspired by IS.
Individuals in or planning travel in Europe in the coming weeks are advised to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious objects or behavior to local authorities. Additionally, individuals in Europe are advised to anticipate enhanced security and to arrive at airports, train stations, and other travel hubs earlier than normal in anticipation of increased waiting times and to adhere to all instructions issued by security authorities.
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