Terror Alert: New Warnings On European Plot
LONDON — Japan issued a travel alert for Europe on Monday, joining the United States and Britain in warning of a possible terrorist attack by al-Qaida or other groups.
Security officials say terrorists may be plotting attacks in Europe with assault weapons on public places, similar to the deadly 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, India, that killed 166 people, and they urged travelers to be vigilant.
In Washington, U.S. officials said Osama bin Laden and the top al-Qaida leadership were likely behind the plot, adding that the decision to issue the alert was based on an accumulation of information, rather than a specific new revelation.
The U.S. State Department travel alert said public transportation systems and other tourism-related facilities could be targets, noting that past attacks had struck rail, airline and boat services.
'We're not saying don't travel'
The U.S. alert falls short of a more severe one in which the State Department might have warned citizens against traveling to Europe. Instead, the alert urges them to take precautions when they do travel.
"We're not saying don't travel to Europe. We are not saying don't visit ... major tourist attractions or historic sites or monuments," Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state, told reporters on a conference call.
"We have a gradation of travel alerts," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Monday. "We have specifically said continue with your travel plans, but be cautious because we are aware of active plots against the United States and allies."
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