Check the U.S. Department of State website for travel alerts and warnings. (Thinkstock)
The murderous attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo in which 12 people were gunned down and two of the suspects — linked to a Yemeni terrorist network — are on the run has Paris on high alert. With the country’s domestic terror threat at its top level, 800 extra police have been patrolling places from schools to the Metro. The shocking violence has many wondering if it’s even safe to travel to Paris. But it’s not the only popular tourist destination grappling with terrorism — warnings and advisories are being issued about these hotspots around the world, too.
Indonesia: Last week, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta warned Americans about potential terror threats against American-linked banks and hotels in Surabaya, the country’s second largest city. Possible targets reportedly also include popular tourist destination Bali, where in 2002, 202 people (including Americans) were killed in bombings near popular nightclubs.
India: On Tuesday, a warning was issued by the Australian government about travel to India based on information about possible terrorist activity. “We continue to receive reports that terrorists are planning attacks in India and assess that attacks could occur anywhere at any time,” the warning said. Upscale hotels packed with tourists may be targets. According to the U.S. Department of State, “India continues to experience terrorist and insurgent activities which may affect U.S. citizens.” There is concern for the safety of women in particular, following a series of rapes, including the kidnapping and gang rape of a Japanese woman visiting a sacred Buddhist site about six hours from Kolkata.
Australia: Before traveling to Australia, the U.S. Department of State suggests checking the Australian government’s alert system for possible threats. The system has four levels, from “low” to “high.” In the wake of the siege at a Sydney café in mid-December that left three people dead, including the gunman, an Islamic State-connected terrorist, Australia is currently on “high” alert.
Philippines: The U.S. government recently updated a warning telling Americans to avoid nonessential travel, particularly to areas in the southern part of the country, due to terrorist and insurgent activity. There is a high threat of kidnapping and violence, says the warning.
Kenya: Following terrorist attacks in Nairobi in September 2013 and on the Kenyan coast in June 2014, the U.S. Department of State warns there is a “continuing and recently heightened [threat] from terrorism.” The warning continues, “The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya … which can include suicide operations, bombings — to include car bombings — kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports.”