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Are you worried about security in Europe?

22:07 UK time, Saturday, 2 October 2010

The US government has warned its citizens to stay away from crowded places in Europe because of the threat of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack, the BBC has learned. Does this affect you?

The state department advised nationals to take care while in tourist areas.

The department did not specify a country, issuing the updated guidance for the whole of Europe.

Sources have warned of an al-Qaeda plan to send teams of gunmen into crowded places to kill Western civilians.

Are you in Europe or are you planning to travel there? Will this warning affect your plans? How much should governments tell citizens about security issues?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    I'm not in the slightest worried about the US warning.

    The US economy is headed into a Depression and Obama needs Americans spending their money at home before everything goes down the swanny.

    What better way to accomplish this than to promulgate the idea of an attack from your favourite bogeymen.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have been living in the UK for more than a year. Everytime i step into the Tube station, it always remind me of the 7/7 event, which I watched on tv BUT ALWAYS SCARED ME. But, anyways, I always feel nothing about terrorism in UK, which is more open than the US.

    However, about the security, if you are out on the street late, it's always dangerous because some gangs may point the gun on you and ask you for money. London or Nottingham become worse on security (especially at night), than Paris or Berlin. It should be the biggest concern about security

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    I'm not worried. I don't believe the government on anything to do with terrorism. The right wing always use scare tactics to brainwash us so they can divert our attention away from that they are doing to our country with their terrible policies. The right wing have used these kinds of scare tactics for generations in almost every country because they work.

    However if I were to discover there was a real threat I would be terrified because I have no faith that lightweights like Cameron and Clegg could protect us. We would all be doomed.

  • Comment number 5.

    The US government is considering warning its citizens to stay away from crowded places in Europe because of the threat of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack...

    Hopefully, that will mean more space on the tube during rush hour!

    Back on topic, I've been worried about security in England, let alone Europe, ever since we joined the coalition for War on Terror against an invisible army.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm an American, and have been to Europe multiple times in the past few years. I am not even remotely afraid to travel to the EU, and have never felt more unsafe there than I have in my home nation. I won't let any cowardly terrorists communicating from a cave in Pakistan try to keep me away from enjoying a European vacation. You just can't live in fear your entire life.

  • Comment number 7.

    it is bound to happen sooner or later.
    lets hope our security forces get them before they get us

  • Comment number 8.

    Isnt the UK in Europe HYS ?

  • Comment number 9.

    2. At 11:41pm on 02 Oct 2010, LeQuy wrote:

    However, about the security, if you are out on the street late, it's always dangerous because some gangs may point the gun on you and ask you for money. London or Nottingham become worse on security (especially at night), than Paris or Berlin. It should be the biggest concern about security.

    Our government won't do a thing about that because our politicians are weak and are terrified of standing up to the gangs. Also, there are no gun threats in the private clubs of Mayfair and the country clubs where our politicians socialise. They don't care about what happens to the rest of us. We just elected another bunch of weak, spineless, elitist toffs who are only ever going to look after the security of themselves and their rich friends.

  • Comment number 10.

    So tourists are recommended to avoid tourist spots, eh ? That´s going to spoil a few vacations.
    Terrorists hold us to ransom because we are too kid gloved in dealing with them. But then other groups also take advantage of our over gentlemanly response to their attacks physical or otherwise and random acts of savagery.
    It will continue and we will put ever more resources into trying to contain a growing band of malcontents. Until, that is, enough of our leaders say `enough already´and strike first and hard. They would get majority support.

  • Comment number 11.

    It's a bit vague isn't it? Europe is a pretty big place so do they mean Germany, France, Italy, Spain etc etc and then within a country, which city or town. Anyway, wouldn't stop me for a minute.

  • Comment number 12.

    What is the point of being worried? I lived through World War II. I lived under the threat of nuclear annihilation throughout the cold war when the only advice to those at home in the event of attack was to shelter under the stairs whilst the establishment et al fled for their deep underground well equipped shelters and at sea we were officially advised to send those dying of exposure to radioactivity to go out on deck and hose down the ship's superstructure. The IRA brought their bombs to mainland Britain after killing thousands in Ulster and then they ended up as part of the safe comfortable government establishment. When Al Quaeda started it's campaign the government of the day stuck up all kinds of barriers around the Houses of Parliament, we must after all keep our political masters secure from car bombs. Why should we be worried, those in control aren't; not about us ordinary folk anyway.

    In the days of empire we barnstormed around the world creating all kinds of enemies and now some of them are determined to inflict damage upon us, sadly their targets will be those ordinary folk who never wanted an empire anyway. God save us from the fanatics, but also from our politicians who still can't see why it is happening and believe that they can destroy an idea however twisted it might be by converting it's believers to so called democracy.

    Worried ??? When we get politicians spouting religion whilst they are simultaneously sending troops off around the world to battle in places like Iraq then I am worried.

  • Comment number 13.

    Honestly, yes I am worried, since we have no idea which cities in Europe are being directed at.
    Everytime a terrorist plot is uncovered, it is instantly foiled, but this one? I don't know

    Here's something though, we boardcast this news in such a way? This will alert Al Qaeda into realizing we are onto them and they will change their plans and become unpredictable, these are dark times, be sharp

  • Comment number 14.

    I dont know much about why the warning was issued but
    they dont post these warnings with out good reason.
    so I guess its just be vigilant as you would be normally
    and trust the security to do their jobs well.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    To quote from Douglas Adams' book: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... Don't Panic!

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    TO SIMPLEOLDSAILOR...Fortunately I missed WW2 but I witnessed the Cold War and I agree with your sentiments about leaders guided by providence as they are sending our children off to distant wars! I hope that we are all spared from these fairytale believing self-absorbed politicians...I wish people would believe in each other and leave the fables for church/mosque/temple etc...peace.

  • Comment number 19.

    If we spent our lives worrying about all of the things that may harm us - accidents, illness, terrorism - we'd never have time to get on with living.

    There's no point living in fear - que sera, sera.

    That said, it does seem strange that we are being told about a plot that has been uncovered, but not stopped. What purpose does this serve, exactly? To alert the terrorists that the security services are on to them? Why? A cynic may suggest there is some alterior motive - to keep people spending their money at home, perhaps, or to keep people afraid?

  • Comment number 20.

    Those of us who lived our childhood, teenage and adult lives under the threat of terrorism from the IRA, this is just back to those bad old days. The IRA tried to kill me several times - I was close by to a couple of their bomb attacks - and I was also in Germany when they started killing our military personnel there. There's not much Islamic radicals will be able do to change the way we live. It's too insignificant to make any real difference. However, individually, we need to go back to the warnings we had when the IRA were active - vigilant but carry on. Americans have never had domestic terrorism to any degree and panic at all opportunities wound up by their irresponsible government. I feel a lot safer on the streets of Munich or Amsterdam or even Kosovo than I do anywhere in Los Angeles.

  • Comment number 21.

    A person dies in a car accident every 12 minutes and each year car crashes kill 40,000 people. Influenza spreads around the world in seasonal epidemics, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people every year. So why are we so worried about Terrorists?

    I think we should be more worried about being involved in traffic or catching a common cold than being struck by terrorism. Let us keep things real! Terrorism is a very, very small problem that gets way too much attention!

  • Comment number 22.

    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

  • Comment number 23.

    3. At 11:47pm on 02 Oct 2010, ColadadelCid wrote:
    "So the Yanks are being told to stay home and not travel to europe? Many europeans would think that a blessing. The Yanks might also think about finally removing their military bases from europe as well sixtyfive years since WWII is a long enough occupation by 'friends'. Europe never had problems with radical Islamists until the US got europe tangled up on the side of Israel against the Palestinians and by supporting repressive family run autocracies like that of Saudi Arabia since oil is more important to capitalism and 'national interests' than a consistant defense of human freedom."

    Amazing,it only took the third comment to insinuate Israel is the reason for AQ to attack us.
    At least your broaden ypur argument with adding SA into the mix aswell.

    Honestly,the reason they try to attack us is because it wants everybody in Europe to become as gullible as you............its Israel fault.

    I am worried that the media is continuing to blackout the fact that 15 to 20 British citizens are AQ camps and more suspected to be in Somalia and on top of that are troops have heard British accents on the Taliban radios.

    Are own people are the enemy.

  • Comment number 24.

    If we spent all our time worrying, we will be dead/not do anything/go out anymore. Whatever happened to the man that we were supposed to have gone to catch on the hills/valleys/caves of Tora Bora? Why has he not been captured with all of our sophisticated modern weaponry and intelligence? So, we should now be scared more than before? Nothing's changed. The situation & state of the world remains the same! We've spent billions on wars while many suffer and can't make ends meet and yet we are told that we are still not safe.

  • Comment number 25.

    It is amazing that after spending billions on nuclear weapons,a group of crazy armed fanatics cause more damage and fear to us than the soviet union did during the whole cold war.We have a spending review on defence and we think we still need nuclear weapons.We buy american nukes and follow their foreign policy of armed conquest and we keep being told that the American bogeyman is ours.We were told saddam was the threat and now were told its north korean and iran.
    We are killing people because we have invaded their land and they hate us for it so they fight back.These people are not in any national uniform but they have taken up arms against us.I`m against nuclear weapons but if iran tests a bomb and just like india and pakistan we see it on tv ,this does not mean ww3 and it does not give the west a right to bomb iran.For iran a scientific and engineering achievement which we will have to live with.However,there are those who see a world order that is the american view of the world.We often hear the leaders of south america talking in a negative way about the usa,this because they have had years of cia intrusion into their live because the americans are against socialism.Che Guevara was executed by the cia,not even given a fair trial.The west is hated for trying to make people do what they don`t want to do.They want a health service and a benefit system and jobs for all.In america today ,people are living in cardboard boxes who weeks earlier had a job and home.Europe is a good place to live and visit and the terrorists are miss guided.The peace of northern ireland shows talking is the way to solving their grevance.I hope we are all safe.As captain kirk says."we come in peace,phasers on stand by".

  • Comment number 26.

    ColadadelCid: The whole world is expecting Americans to commit financial suicide so that we can buy everyone else's way out of financial ruin, except for Britain. You didn't make any of those stupid decisions, you stayed clear of all that. Your banks are solvent, your budget is balanced and money is flowing in. You're not at all counting on us to bail you out. Clearly you don't need anything from us. No tourism, no trade? No? Good. Seeya. Look how hard I am crying at losing someone as superior as you... Heart-breaking.

    As for Terror Alerts... All Western societies are based on war-profiteering. Even the "superior" ones. The world is divided into "haves" and "have nots". Most of the have-nots are not superior; they are envious. They want total power and control over all the world's resources just as much as the countries they rail against. You can't trust anything you see in the world media, because the media is owned by the same people who control the military-industrial complex. When human beings start learning from their mistakes instead of eagerly reliving them in the ridiculous expectation that they will somehow achieve different results from the same wrong-headed actions, then perhaps the world will be safe and people will know and live by the truth.

    In the meantime, there is no place "safe". There is only the illusion of safety, being used by those in control to manipulate the masses. Go where you wish. People are the same everywhere.

  • Comment number 27.

    It is a measure of the times that when Ronald Reagan warned of terrorism in Europe it was viewed by many people as a cheap stunt. At present only the foolhardy would respond in this way.

  • Comment number 28.

    22. At 00:56am on 03 Oct 2010, Magi Tatcher wrote:
    Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.


    I expect my Government to do all it can to protect our way of life, be it a "daring adventure" like yours, or a more considered adventure like mine. Call my life "nothing" if you want, but I can assure you it isn't.

  • Comment number 29.

    Unless the West understands the threat from Islamic militants and makes rules that prevent further immigration, from countries where radical Islamic teachings are not banned, there is bound to be this kind of scare and destruction. Today it is Europe and tomorrow somewhere else, it is high time that the West join hands with India, China, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries to supress terrorist organizations operating from Pakistan and surrounding areas. Enough is Enough, those who cannot live with other races and religions should stay back in their own countries and self destroy themselves.

  • Comment number 30.

    'The US government is considering warning its citizens to stay away from crowded places in Europe because of the threat of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack, the BBC has learned. Could this affect you?'

    Would it perhaps be possible to make the warning even more vague?

    How about 'Somewhere in the world at an unknown time at an unknown place and probably within the next couple of years there may be a terrorist attack carried out by some unknown people against some other people but we're not quite sure who'
    Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy; I can almost guarantee this will happen but without it being a bit more specific it's difficult to say whether it might affect me or not. As it stands there's really not much I can do to protect myself apart from staying at home, and even that might not be enough.
    The only comfort can take is the thought that since we started the 'war on terrorism' we have been incredibly successful and it can surely only be a matter of months before we have rid the world of all terrorists.

  • Comment number 31.

    Terrorists are highly unlikely to blow up the entire country. The chances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time are miniscule compared to being injured in traffic. Worrying about it is not going to change terrorist strategies, so why worry?

    By the way, it is they who fear us, or they wouldn't be acting out the way they are. Where there is no fear, they have no power over us.

  • Comment number 32.

    I am not worried in the least. Our presence in Afghanistan has finally been put on the front burner by the Bob Woodward book, and Americans are scoffing at the notion that the Taliban is a threat to our national security. This "warning" is absurd, and sounds like military propaganda.

    I'm much more afraid of all of the "new" poor people.

  • Comment number 33.

    You've got far more chance of being hurt in a car accident, or mugged.

    But somehow I still manage to drag myself, shaking with fear, past the front door and into the big bad world.

  • Comment number 34.

    Even in Israel you're far more likely to be killed in a car accident.

    It's a bunch of over hyped nonsense...BUT, if I was to get fifty grand a year for "tewwowist work" I'd happily join up and talk like we were all going to get wiped out tomorrow.
    Sure beats working for a living.

  • Comment number 35.

    Each year in the USA
    40,000 people die in road accidents and 30,000 people die in gun incidents.
    (A million people every 15 years!!)

    If you're a US citizen, you've miles more chance of being killed if you stay at home.

  • Comment number 36.

    We unfortunately live in a dangerous world. One should always be alert but otherwise life goes on. I live in NY and feel the police do an amazing job providing a secure city. More people die from smoking, drinking and driving, etc. than from terrorism (at least in the West).

    Vague warnings are useless and are only given to cover the State Department (or other agency). If an attack occurs and security knew there was a threat but didn't warn people there would be lots of criticism of the State Department, resignations, etc.

  • Comment number 37.

    An utter and complete waste of time. I am planning to bring a friend from Europe soon. But advisories are a waste. To the relevant agencies: Just focus on catching the bad guys. There's no need to scare us or tell us, even if there's a higher threat. Just do your job and work as hard as you can to catch the crazies.

  • Comment number 38.

    There is an element of danger in just about everything we do in life, be it crossing the road, driving, flying, or eating a cream tea. It's all in the percentages, and you just always hope that you are in the better percentile of not being one of these victims. As for me, I'm off to France in February.

  • Comment number 39.

    Even long before September 11 these State Department warnings didn't mean much, not to me anyway. They tend to err much too far on the side of caution, and even when they don't, are too vague to be much use anyway. If security is a real concern, a little pre-trip research on your own, coupled with a little common sense, is probably much more useful.

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    I am somewhat vary of visiting Europe based on this information. There are only two countries that I really visit, they are United Kingdom and Italy.

    However, since I don't plan on an overseas trip until next year, maybe it'll be okay.

  • Comment number 42.

    Wow the baseless hate of Americans on here is offensive. I would just like to say that Americans don't feel the need to bash Europeans on US news sites just because you're included in the topic we would appreciate the same respect back.

    On topic:

    I'm not really worried about it.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.


    This is US government spin.

    This is an ailing, failing, administration without a clue on economic policy diverting interest. The US economy is in the toilet.

    This is mid term election fever gone mad.

    American government is about power and tenure - that is it.

    Here is a thought; if Al Queda is still a threat in Europe according to the US and the US has spent the last 10 years sorting that out and failed why the hell are we listening to what the US have to say anyway?

  • Comment number 45.

    This "threat" has come about for 4 sometimes related reasons:

    1. The pernicious influence of religion on politicians and activists; and both fundamentalist Islam and fundamentalist Christian influences are even more dangerous than moderate religious views here.

    2. The corrupt and morally bankrupt policies of many if not all of our politicians in the UK, USA, and elsewhere, who use their power and influence to manipulate their people with the aim of protecting their own power, money, and oil reserves. This coupled with their fundamental weaknesses where it matters means that disasters lurks everywhere.

    3. Bluff and double-bluff may be at work in a way to manipulate the masses in the USA to help prevent them spending their dollars abroad in a time of economic turmoil, brought about by insufficient regulation of their banking industry as a result of their worship of the free market and fear of a bogey man they call "communism" but which they rarely know much about.

    4. The lunacy of a religion that somehow has been said by some to promise an eternal life of enjoyment to those who kill and main "non-believers", and this aspect of Islam is additional to the previous mentioned problems of religion, particularly because one would hope to see more visible and vigorous rebuttals of this from within Islam, but in the end, they mostly seem to refrain from doing this, as to do so would, in their eyes, support non-believers in Islam more than so-called believers. (In other words: hypocrisy).

    The underlying most important point is the somewhat childish hanging onto the magical thinking that all religion requires one to do. To paraphrase a famous passage in the New Testament: "When we were children and ignorant, we thought like children and believed in magic. Now we are supposed to have grown up, we should behave like adults, and put away our magical thinking, and thus dispose of religion."

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    42. At 02:56am on 03 Oct 2010, Adam wrote:

    Wow the baseless hate of Americans on here is offensive. I would just like to say that Americans don't feel the need to bash Europeans on US news sites just because you're included in the topic we would appreciate the same respect back.

    Please don't assume all of the British hate Americans. Unfortunately we have stupid people here like every country has stupid people. We have to allow them to have their say too even though we don't agree with them.

  • Comment number 48.

    And also what exactly does " al-Qaeda commando-style attacK" mean?!

    It is just so alarmist and does all their work for them. Stupid or what??

  • Comment number 49.

    Majority of the muslims the world hate the ran

  • Comment number 50.

    must be ready for any threatens of terrorist attacks,WHERE THE ISLAM CONDEMN ATTACKS AGAINST INNOCENT PEOPLE(

  • Comment number 51.

    A vast majority of Muslims the world over hates the indiscriminate violence perpetrated by the Al Qaeda honchos because it goes against the tenets of Islam. Even Muslims are killed indiscriminately due to the orthodoxy of the terrorists. Bin Laden is particularly against US and Europe and as such it is appropriate for the governments to issue travel warnings to their citizens. People in general hardly heed the warnings and may fall victims if an attack were to take place. Safety first pleasure next should be the maxim with people who nonchallently ignore the warnings. Terrorism has become the scourge of the 21st century.

  • Comment number 52.

    I have a European vacation scheduled next month and do not plan on changing a thing.

  • Comment number 53.

    I love travelling to Europe. War on terror is just a pretext to control people by fear.

    Mafias use the same technique. They will sell you protection, but they create the problem in the first hand. Read Maquiavelo and you'll understand how the system works.

    Living in our western societies even when people in power, control us with fear (terror, financial crisis, diseases, whatever else) is still wonderful, as long as you don't panic with the 'latest problem'.

    To make the fear even greater, these oligarchy will go the extra mile and explode a bomb or two, allow a virus to spread, and have it all shown at 9pm news shows. Then we'll agree to almost anything they deem necessary to protect us, be that invading another country (with a hidden oil controlling agenda), or having everyone register their fingerprints and allow them know where we go, what we do and when we do it.

    We are all going to die anyway, so why live in fear? If you were given a choice, would you rather die immediately in a bombing, or of a long deteriorating disease?

    Smile and enjoy the morning coffee, today is a great day for you and I.

  • Comment number 54.

    Re #46"the best reason for Americans to avoid Europe is that it's full of Europeans."

    True, although at the rate Arab Muslim population of EUROPE increases this may soon cease to be the case.

    Not that EUSSR would then become a safer place.

  • Comment number 55.


    My apologies.

  • Comment number 56.

    @ 46. At 03:08am on 03 Oct 2010, nomdecomp wrote:
    "the best reason for Americans to avoid Europe is that it's full of Europeans"

    I think you'll find America is full of Europeans and their descendents, so not quite sure what this comment means?

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    The travel advisory really is laughable. In my experience, while the US is busy screening shoes and measuring hand gel and wanding bra underwires and swabbing handbags, Europe has long had meaningful airport/train security.

  • Comment number 59.

    So, a nonsense piece of 'news' about an attack 'somewhere in Europe' WOW! These intelligence agencies sure are specific! So they have basically came up with something a monkey could predict. "Hey Monkey, point to this map of the world to help us predict a terrorist attack! Oh my god! the monkey pointed at Europe!"

    The question is: do you believe in mystical predictive monkey brain powers?

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 62.

    Al Qaeda is a nightmare only if you let it become one. After saving so long for a Europe vacation, not even the second coming will stop me.

  • Comment number 63.

    With a Narco Terrorist country next to America's porous border, I'd be more worried of an attack coming up from the South. Ecuador nearly had a coup and Mexico is cose to a failed state and we are worried about terrorists attacking Europe?

  • Comment number 64.

    Well, you have to look at it from the government's point of view. If they get information and release a warning then sure, some people are going to attack the government, people will make silly comments about "living in fear," and Israel will naturally be dragged into it since this is a European forum. But on the other hand if the government doesn't release a warning and a terrorist attack occurs then you bring into the fold all of the "US knew and did nothing" nutballs, more hardened conspiracy theorists, and, of course, Israel since this is a European forum.

    So....which group is easier to deal with? The before or after group?

  • Comment number 65.

    You forgot to add confiscating your water bottle too.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    As long as you are mindful of what is going on around you, which is true in any case, I think it is safe to travel. Common sense applies - avoid late-night visits to areas of potential problems and vists to unfamiliar locations, and don't go it alone. Being always 'alert' for suspicious activity is the best bet, and keep in mind that Al Qaeda didn't send advance threats to tourists in New York before 9/11/2001, so I don't see why they would preview their intentions now. Living in fear and reacting to generic threats is exactly what they want.

  • Comment number 68.

    Every time a religious fanatic blows themselves (and others) to smithereens, all it achieves is to show the free-thinking West just what an evil institution all religion, not just Islam, actually is. This will ultimately have the effect of killing off religion, rather than our way of life. So, no, I'm not worried in the slightest: every terrorist act brings US one step closer to freedom, not them.

  • Comment number 69.

    Every life is like a Novel and in the end, the Hero always dies.
    Live your life with gusto and abandon don't worry about terrorists,
    snakes, shark attack, lightning, airplane crashes, or alligators.

  • Comment number 70.

    Most people think that nothing will happen in Europe, and seem to take the warnings as a joke. The fact remains if nothing happens that is good. People will say " I told you so--nothing happened"! The best thing to be is safe instead of sorry. The I told you so people need to realize how many terror attempts have been foiled by the authorities before they use the "I told you so" again. If it weren't for numerous intelligence agencies working together, and separately just think of how many terror attempts would have been successful, and how many lives lost.

  • Comment number 71.

    its a scary world and european governments are slashing there budgets because of the financial crisis in europe.
    the city trader boys and bankers have hurt european countries far more than any terrorist could

  • Comment number 72.

    All you can hope for is that a) our guys foil the plot down the line or b) our guys shoot them in the head before they hurt too many innocents.

  • Comment number 73.

    Long ago the Foreign Office should have issued a permanent advisory warning of the the dangers of visiting the US, considering that the US is the most dangerous country in the western world.

  • Comment number 74.

    The chances of being killed in a terrorist attack are significantly behind the chances of dying of heart disease, cancer, flu, car accidents, etc. But those deadlier threats don't make nearly as interesting headlines.

  • Comment number 75.

    Sure it affects me; any terrorist-threat or attack, anywhere in the world, is agonizing and disturbing for all the law-abiding, peace-loving and civilized peoples. All the governments have to caution/warn/train their citizens on the necessary security measures, required to be observed, in any particular terror-affected/apprehended circumstances.

  • Comment number 76.

    I Agree with Icebloo # 47.. its a minority in this country who say they hate Americans, I know who i would rather have as friends in a crisis , the trouble we have is weak government they let our country become a haven for all sorts of low life ....however them and theirs are always safe, so why should they worry .

  • Comment number 77.

    There's two sorts of safety threats - criminal and terrorist. Advice like avoiding certain areas at night, not flashing money/valuables/tourist maps around makes you safer from personal attack from thieves and con merchants. But are no help against terrorist attacks.

    Vigilance for unattended bags, smoking or abandoned vehicles etc helps protect everyone from terrorist attacks.

    After 7/7 in London I was on a bus when a young man realised he was about to miss his stop and dashed off the bus leaving his bag behind. The bus erupted in anger, not that he might be a terrorist, but that he was too stupid to realise the anxiety it caused.

    Leaving bags unattended (specially at airports) is one of the most selfish acts I know of.

  • Comment number 78.

    The whole object of a terrorist is to put people in fear.

    So the US government have admitted defeat.

    Spend the £billions securing our country, not roaming around someone else's shooting anything that moves.

  • Comment number 79.

    For those Americans that are afraid to go to Europe, I would suggest you are safer in Europe than in most US cities.....

  • Comment number 80.

    My mate went to Boston and was mugged, in a country with such lax gun laws surely we should be issuing a travel advisory to the US?

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm more worried that should any incident occur it would more likely be designed by the same people that carried out 9/11 and the London bombings...... people much closer to the US and UK governments than Bin Laden or Santa Claus!

  • Comment number 82.

    We have lived in Hungary for some seven years, and are seeing a rise of racist attacks, even up to local goverment,
    there are some that will not even speak to our young children, even that they can speak Hungarian,
    Its ouit sad, we have now got a gun for my wife as I travel lots and she is worried.
    A house down the road was set on fire last year as they are gipsy, and we had our fence burnt??? that was a warning??

  • Comment number 83.

    Murder rates per Capita:

    United States: 0.042802 per 1,000 people

    France: 0.0173272 per 1,000 people

    United Kingdom: 0.0140633 per 1,000 people

    Germany: 0.0116461 per 1,000 people

    Remind me again, which country has issued a travel advisory?

  • Comment number 84.

    Firstly, I believe the thread topic description is misleading. The actual story it is linked to states :

    "The US government is to issue a travel alert, warning its citizens to be vigilant while travelling in Europe because of the threat of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack."

    Neither the US or UK are telling or even suggesting people stay away from Europe.

    OK whilst disagreeing with them and their policies I can understand why Al Qaeda might target the US and UK but what is its problem with other European countries as their citizens would surely be caught up in this ? Other European countries only have a minimal presence in Afghanistan if at all.

    If Al Qaeda go down the route of targeting nations who are not involved in Afghanistan (virtually all bar the US have withdrawn their troops from Iraq so surely it can't be that country anymore) then it is likely they will start to lose support amongst all but the most hardened followers and draw back into the conflict nations who have previously stepped aside such as Spain or only taken a minimal role such as France and Germany.

    Leaves me thinking either :

    a) Al Qaeda just want to force us all to convert to their form of Islam which it appears even many Muslims disagree with

    or bizarrely

    b) the real aim of their leaders is more akin to a Die Hard plot with the terrorism being a diversion for other more self indulgent activities (influencing share prices etc to build their own personal bank balances)

  • Comment number 85.

    Potential warnings from the US government advising American citizens not to travel to Europe would obviously beg the pertinent question: So what should Europeans do? Flood out of Europe?

    What I find so truly unbelievable is that so many years after 9/11, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose and his network of terrorists still operating in full swing. With modern day intelligence, satellite imagery and the like, shouldn't we really be winning the so-called "war against terrorism" ?

  • Comment number 86.

    Onslow_The_Cat wrote:
    "I think you'll find America is full of Europeans and their descendents, so not quite sure what this comment means?"

    I think he's referring to the fact that native Europeans and Americans don't get along anymore. I agree with his sentiment that a reason to avoid travel to Europe is because of the unpleasant people. The misguided feelings of romance an American might have for the mother continent quickly erode the moment they actually encounter the typical European. Americans are becoming increasingly aware just how insanely idiotic, hypocritical, and fiendishly anti-American Europeans are. It's surreal actually, it was for me. The anti-Americanism in Europe has become full blown form of mass mental illness. The media in Europe is engaged in a perpetual Yank-bashing spree, you will never hear something positive reported about the US. This results in the typical European essentially being programmed to have a completely different set of mental processes that dictate how they interpret anything that involves the US and Americans. Europeans not only point their finger at the US for problems that are often the same or worse in their own countries, but they take actual joy in problems in the US, it helps them convince themselves that their existence is better by contrast, when in my observation this couldn't be further from the truth.

    Basically, it's almost impossible for Americans to spend any extended period of time in Europe without being harassed, without being victims of the ignorance and irrational hatred that Europeans have towards Americans.

    I've been all over Europe. Between my main stays in France, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands I spent almost 3 years in Europe. About a 7th of my life. I could understand why my ancestors decided to leave. I don't intend to return.

    The security situation is the last of my concerns. I'd be more afraid of reliving the verbal abuse I received than being the victim of a terrorist attack.

    Funny though how people commenting are trying to find some way of bashing the US for issuing the travel warning, despite the fact that the UK government also issued a travel warning to British citizens traveling to mainland Europe. That kind of validates what I said about people having different mental processes that dictate how they judge something the US does versus what their own country or any other country does. Brits ignore that their government did the same thing, and don't apply the same criticisms to their own country that they do to the US.

    Anti-Americanism even in its milder forms is demonstrably a mental disorder.

  • Comment number 87.

    I am more concerned crossing the street than I am of attacks by terror groups.
    What are the Americans up to ?
    Trying whip up some fear and distraction ahead of the congressional elections ? This smacks more of internal politicking, than any real international concern to me.

  • Comment number 88.

    In reality, there should be a warning for anyone travelling to the US! The place is the murder capital of the world - every nut-case free to carry enough weaponry to stock a small army, neurotic police..nah better to stay out of the US.

    I'd feel safer in Osama Binliner's back garden!

  • Comment number 89.

    Bush was very black and white about terror; no sliding scale or league table. So what has changed?

    Isn't terror omnipresent? Isn't that the work ethic of the terrorist? "You never know."

    And isn't the work ethic of 'intelligence' to 'know'? To understand what is going on to help "prevent the attack" rather than suggest "suspending life as we know it just in case"? So are our intelligence agencies getting lazier, lazy enough to believe blanket bulletins are the order of the day?

  • Comment number 90.

    Threats and alerts like this will continue to happen so long as the fanatics that are trying to kill us are allowed to make full use of our human rights that were written without this activity to take into account. Our friendly nations welcome people who have problems in there own countries and setup a system to more than help them when they come into our country. The rules and system is now being used against us in everyway possible and its not until we allow the gloves to be taken off our security services and let them really fight back in the way the terrorist play that we will beat them..We will have to fight back in this way one day, so let it be done now and get it over with and stop putting our soldiers and security services in a position where their lives are more at risk due to restrictions.

  • Comment number 91.

    The Americans are in Afghanistan trying to find people to kill, as they did in Vietnam (and we know what happened there.)
    Now they strike fear into their own people by suggesting that people might want to kill them. Not directly, but by attacking crowds in Europe, which may contain some Americans and that, as a consequence, Americans should stay at home !
    Come on, wake up and smell the coffee ..... what game are they playing ?

  • Comment number 92.

    My grandfather who fought in the first world war used to say that it was "The Enemy Within" which would be the downfall for many. How true a word was ever spoken. As much as countries try to adapt to the influx of immigrants, this surely has to stop. We have to get tough and until we are the situation will get worse and worse. When will we ever learn.

  • Comment number 93.

    This country has been in a perpetual state of heightened threat since the start of our fight with the IRA. We are used to it and our security forces and military are well prepared for terrorist atrocities. The Americans were given a rude awakening about homeland terrorism on 9/11. After that event, US funding of the IRA quickly dried up!!!
    It is natural that they will overreact, panic and wimp out of any perceived threat from anywhere.
    Welcome to the real world and a world that US aggressive, revenge-driven foreign policy has created.

  • Comment number 94.

    Security in Europe must be a cause for concern while borders are uncontrolled and unpoliced and immigration is rampant.

  • Comment number 95.

    #17 Jackinusa

    "but we cannot do anything to stop the corruption associated with special interest groups and lobbys like aipac that control our government same as they control yours so ge a life."

    To a degree I would agree with you but the Balfour declaration was in 1917 the state of Israel was established in 1948 after a nasty little war. As for special interest groups that you can't control they are much more powerful in the US than Europe because of the scale of corruption in the US is so much greater. The amounts of money you allow into your political process are ridiculous they are bound to corrupt but you, the people, do nothing to protest about this.

    Other than that this is, in my view, typical of the hysteria that surrounds the so called 'War on Terror' and the state of artificially enhanced fear the US government prefers for it's citizens to divert their attention from their all too real problems at home.

  • Comment number 96.

    I'm much more worried about the yobbos screaming around the locale than I am about AQ. Bring home our boys from Afghanistan and get them to patrol the streets!

  • Comment number 97.

    dwangeddy wrote:

    Isnt the UK in Europe HYS ?

    Yes it is dwangeddy - unfortunately the "impartial" (ha ha) UK press never reports the facts, pandering to the Euroseptic audience. Whether you are for or against the fact is that Geographically and Politically the UK is in Europe.

  • Comment number 98.

    What a ridiculous story, more scare mongering. The story points out that Al Qaeda are targeting the "western public". Europe was also western the last time I looked. Why issue travel warnings for US citizens traveling to Europe. And what about the Europeans already living in western Europe, what kind of protection can the they expect, a travel warning to not travel further west? This is nonsense, Americans and Europeans are both western publics, so why not say "Europeans and Americans at home and abroad at risk from attack". More scare mongering from those in power, people please don't take the bate. And if you're European don't stand next to another westerner in public places? This is utter nonsense.

  • Comment number 99.

    I worry about those idiots who's only intention is to keep the tension as high as possible to serve their master's shaky interests...

  • Comment number 100.

    The US government is considering warning its citizens to stay away from crowded places in Europe because of the threat of an al-Qaeda commando-style attack, the BBC has learned. Could this affect you?

    I am not surprised by this warning at all, such a threatened attack would bring Al-Qaeda back into the spotlight, it would also expose the organisation to be what it is, cowardly, indiscriminate and murderous, with no respect for human life whatsoever - it is strange then, isn't it, that all terrorist actions that have been carried out by extremists members of the Muslim faith, usually on unarmed civilian men, women and children.
    No benevolent God would sanction such behavior.

    However, the greatest threat to people travelling around the cities of England, London, Birmingham, Manchester, etc. etc. is not terrorists per-se, but the criminal element that now seem to be able roam our streets at night with little or no effect to stop them.
    Gun crime, knife crime, car jacking, car theft, burglary, mugging, the list goes on and on, and with the proposal to reduce the police numbers across the board and the ensueing hardships to come from 20%VAT and other hikes in the cost of living (existing for some people), this will only increase the crime rate by many who, whilst not habitual criminals, will become desperate - seeing no light at the end of a downward spiral tunnel into the depths of poverty.

    The above of course will not affect the likes of Lord Ashcroft, who it seems is quite happy to continue living in the UK whilst not paying tax on his 71 £ billion worth - leaving it instead for the ordinary working man to pay instead - very Tory indeed.


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