Cancel Thanksgiving and Christmas Travel Plans (U.S. State Department)

The State Department has issued a “Worldwide Travel Alert” from November 23, 2015 until February 24, 2016.

This is not a joke, or at least the State Department doesn’t consider it to be a joke.

From the Worldwide Travel Alert:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats. Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests. This Travel Alert expires on February 24, 2016.

Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da’esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis. Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets, and aviation services. In the past year, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali. ISIL/Da’esh has claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt.

U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid large crowds or crowed places. Exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events. U.S. citizens should monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities. Persons with specific safety concerns should contact local law enforcement authorities who are responsible for the safety and security of all visitors to their host country.

The State Department left out a more likely danger, that you are crushed by a coin-operated beverage machine you are trying to cheat out of a drink or treat.

I know that agency budgets are under assault but asking U.S. citizens to shelter in place, that’s what don’t travel means, for the next three (3) months is a bit extreme.

Next thing you know, the Department of Homeland Security will start storing grenades and ammunition at every tenth house just in case they are cut off by terrorists from their supply base.

Every agency will try to outdo the others in whipping up fear of terrorists.

Let’s tell the State Department thanks but no thanks for the injection of paranoia into our holiday season.

In fact, the State Department makes it easy for you to send that message:

Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

That’s 13:00 UTC until 01:00 UTC the next day, in case you are overseas.

Relevant U.S. federal holidays are: Thanksgiving Day (26 November 2015), Christmas Day (25th December 2015), New Year’s Day (1 January 2016), Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (18 January 2016), George Washington’s Birthday (15 February 2016).

Enjoy your holidays despite terrorists and their cheer leaders in the State Department and press. Imagine how little news coverage terrorists would get if left to their own devices.

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