The United States State Department issued a worldwide travel alert on Monday for American citizens, issuing a warning for travelers due to “increased terrorist threat” in the recent days, citing mainly the Paris attacks.
"Current information suggests that Islamic State [DAESH], Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," the department said in a warning posted on its website.
"US citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation," it said, advising Americans to avoid large crowds or crowded places and to "exercise particular caution during the holiday season."
"Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theaters, open markets and aviation services," the alert added.
The alert, which ends on Feb. 24, also warned "the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Daesh [DAESH] return from Syria and Iraq," referring to foreign fighters who return home after having fought alongside DAESH terrorists.
Travel Alert: Authorities believe likelihood of terror attacks will continue as ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria/ Iraq. https://t.co/Ebm8Ny3Bom
— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) November 23, 2015
The State Department often issues individual country travel alerts for specific reasons, such as terrorism threats in Afghanistan, crime threats in Honduras or Ebola outbreaks in Sierra Leone. However, Monday’s warning was a rare “worldwide travel alert” issued in the wake of a series of attacks in Paris, Denmark, France, Mali, Nigeria and Turkey.
The last time that the State Department issued a similar worldwide alert was in December, 2014.
A State Department official stated that the agency also issued worldwide travel alerts in the past and said this latest alert effectively updated past warnings.
"Attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests," the alert said.
The alert came as millions of Americans are preparing to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday and the organisers of major events like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade bolster their security preparations.