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Yesterday, the US Department of State sent out a travel advisory, warning travelers visiting the Netherlands to be on alert for terrorism.
The warning is ranked level two, “Exercise Increased Caution,” up from the level one ranking given by the US since the beginning of September, after a stabbing in an Amsterdam train station. Among the victims were two Americans.
An unsettling description of the recent happenings reads, “terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.”
The increased caution correlates most directly to an event that occurred just two days ago in which the Netherlands police prevented an attack. Seven individuals who were trying to obtain rifles and bomb paraphernalia were arrested. Although it was a success in terms of safety, the event has caused an increased sense of vigilance in the region.
For those who do decide to travel to the Netherlands, the US Department of State suggests the following precautions:
- Be aware of your surroundings when traveling to tourist locations and large crowded public venues.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities including movement restrictions related to any ongoing police action.
- Monitor local media for breaking events and adjust your plans based on new information.
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
- Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
- Review the Crime and Safety Report for the Netherlands.
- U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the department’s Traveler’s Checklist.
Featured image by ROBIN UTRECHT/AFP/Getty Images.
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