As cities across Europe are put on an increased terrorist alert, it appears that the Americans are taking it all in their stride.
The State Department advice has warned the hundreds of thousands of US citizens’ currently in Europe to be extra alert, avoid crowded tourist areas and generally be more safety conscious.
Security Officials’ fear there could be a spate of attacks on public places throughout Europe, similar to the deadly shootings in Mumbai, India during 2008. This attack left 166 people dead and targeted two luxury hotels, a crowded train station, popular restaurant and a Jewish Centre.
Britain’s Foreign Office also raised their terror alert from ‘general’ to ‘high’ for all UK tourists visiting France and Germany, and it remained at ‘severe’ for the UK suggesting that a terrorist attack on this country is highly probable. German and French ministers saw no reason to raise their threat alerts at this time as there were ‘still no concrete indications of imminent attacks,’ although they admitted the threat of terrorism was always there.
American intelligence officials believe that this could be the biggest attack Osama Bin Laden has allegedly been planning since the devastating 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001.
However it appears that American tourists in London at least, are taking the news largely in their strides, with one commenting that being from New York he was used to terror alerts happening regularly and they didn’t faze him.
Others stated that the warning had been particularly vague, just advising them to stay away from public places and relatives back home in America had actually been more concerned for them than they were for themselves.
Three women enjoying a holiday from Michigan to the UK’s capital admitted that they were actually more concerned about the weather than they were about the security threats, and added if they became embroiled in any trouble they would just pretend to be Canadian.
However one American from Washington DC, in the city with work, described how he was due to fly home on Tuesday and was quite relieved as he believed now was a good time to get out.
It is thought that the alert is more likely to affect people who are just thinking of travelling to Europe’s main cities, than those with plans already in place.
If, however, the alert is raised to a formal warning not to visit Europe then this could have devastating effects on an already shaky European economy.