American State Department officials have warned US travelers to be vigilant when travelling to Europe – and to be particularly careful when going to Christmas events.

The State Department issued an alert to US citizens, advising them to “exercise caution” during holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets throughout Europe, adding that there was credible information that the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Al-Qaeda, and their affiliates continued to plan attacks in Europe, “with a focus on the upcoming holiday season and associated events.”

“US citizens should exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.,” the statement stressed.

“Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds, when possible.”

“Have an emergency plan of action ready,” the State Department advised.

The travel alert expires on February 20, 2017.

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