A State Department issues Europe travel alert amid potential terrorist attacks this summer in the region. Specifically, the agency is warning Americans about going to the European Soccer Championship from June 10 to July 10 in France.
The alert also mentions that France extended its state of emergency to cover the Tour de France cycling race from July 2 to July 24, the The Guardian reports. It also pointed to another event called the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in late July in Poland.
“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,” says the alert, which is in effect through the end of August.
The State Department Europe travel alert comes after the country’s spy chief told lawmakers that spooks were aware ISIS is planning more attacks — “and that France is clearly a target.” While the head of security for the soccer championship said it was “impossible” make any event 100 percent safe from attacks, officials have refused to postpone or relocate the tournament, WTSP reported.
“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 alert says.
In late July, Poland will also host the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day in Krakow and the event is expected to attract up to 2.5 million people, the State Department said. As a result, it says “local infrastructure may be strained” and Americans should be expect stricter security screenings throughout the country.
The State Department advises Americans traveling to Europe to remain vigilant in public places or when they use mass transportation, and to avoid crowded places. It also says that travelers should stay in touch with their families and to have a plan in case people are separated.
The alert comes only a few months after the terrorist attacks that rocked Brussels in March. Paris experienced two terrorist attacks last year, with the first in January when terrorists targeted the offices of Charlie Hebdo and last November when terrorists struck a soccer stadium, cafes, restaurants and a major music venue.
France refused to let the terror threats interfere with the soccer championship, which is expected to draw more than two million fans to stadiums. But France’s spy chief warned this month that France is still “clearly a target” for terrorism.
“The question when it comes to the threat is not ‘if,’ but ‘when’ and ‘where,'” Patrick Calvar, the head of the General Directorate for Internal Security intelligence agency, told the French defense committee May 21.
Breibart News said World Youth Day is expected to draw up to 2.5 million visitors to Krakow, a city with a population under 800,000. The mass of tourists could make the local infrastructure “strained,” according to the State Department.