Many Iowans will be traveling across the state or across the country for Thanksgiving, but a few will be making international trips in the next week.
The U.S. State Department is issuing a rare global travel alert due to increased terrorist threats. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says America’s intelligence community is keeping closely attuned to any rumblings that may indicate trouble.
“CIA, FBI use the word chatter,” Grassley says. “There’s a lot of chatter out there coming from all of the terrorist organizations that you can name, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, ISIS, probably a dozen more you could name, seems to be a lotta’ chatter.”
There are reportedly no specific threats directed at the United States, but officials are warning Americans to be more vigilant after recent multiple attacks around the world. “I think it’s reasonable to take it very serious,” Grassley says. “I hope nothing comes of it. We had the same thing July the 4th, not too much came out of it. That’s because the FBI was on top of things and arrested several people before they had an opportunity to do any damage.”
The alert from the State Department says travelers abroad should avoid large crowds and crowded places, and exercise particular caution during the holiday season and at holiday festivals or events.
Grassley says, “We saw what happened in Paris so I think we ought to listen to what the State Department says.” The November 13th attacks on the French capitol for which ISIS claimed responsibility claimed 130 lives and injured hundreds. Other recent attacks struck in Denmark, Mali, Nigeria and Turkey.
The travel alert will remain in place into late February.