A travel alert was issued by the U.S. State Department on Monday after French authorities thwarted a terrorist plot linked to ISIS. The State Department warned Americans traveling in France to use caution when attending events, outdoor markets, and holiday festivals. This warning was also issued to travelers in other European countries as well.
Seven people were arrested by the French police after they conducted numerous anti-terrorism raids in the cities of Marseilles and Strasbourg. Reportedly, these raids were part of an 8-month long investigation into terrorist activities that were taking place. The people that got arrested had allegedly been planning a terrorist attack on French soil during these last 8 months. It is believed the attacks were going to take place during the holidays in heavily crowded areas.
Strasbourg is known throughout Europe for its popular Christmas marketplaces. These markets are expected to open this Friday and attract over 2 million people to them. With this many people in one place, it would be the perfect target for terrorists looking to kill as many people as possible. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time that ISIS caused terrorist attacks in France. Fortunately, this plot was foiled.
In the year 2000, terrorists connected to al-Qaeda had planned to attack the Christmas markets of Strasbourg but their plans were foiled before they could be carried out. Now the countries of Europe are being threatened by ISIS. Many believe the Syrian refugees brought into these European countries have been the reason for the increase in terrorist activities. ISIS leaders even claimed they’d abuse the Refugee Program by sneaking their people into countries along with other refugees. Although it hasn’t been confirmed if the people arrested recently were refugees, the previous attacks in France that happened within the last two years were reportedly done by refugees brought into the country.