NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Passengers at JFK Airport said they won’t be deterred by the State Department’s new travel alert for Europe, CBS 2HD’s Jay Dow reports.
“That definitely is not going to be something that will not allow me to, you know, travel, if it’s Europe,” said Milton Dalamagkas, Dubai resident.
However, Japanese and British officials were concerned enough that they joined their American counterparts, issuing a stern warning to citizens traveling to Europe: keep your eyes open and be aware of the potential for another terrorist attack near transit hubs or popular tourist destinations abroad.
The State Departments travel alert was one step below a travel warning and did not advise Americans to cancel their European travel plans.
The alert notification also hinted that Osama bin Laden and his associates, believed to be hiding out in Pakistan, may be behind it. Bin Laden’s suspected involvement would mark his largest operational role in a terror plot since the 9/11 attacks.
“We know that al-qaida and its network of terrorists wishes to attack both European and U.S. targets,” said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Intelligence officials also said terrorists may be planning an attack similar to 2008 shooting spree in Mumbai, India in which 173 people were killed.
Long Island Congressman Peter King, reached by phone, said the threat was credible. “It’s probably the most serious potential series of attacks we’ve seen in Europe in some time. It could be any number of European cities and that’s the basis for the cause of concern.”
“I just think it’s going to raise the anxiety and the stress level that goes along with it. Especially in New York. I’m not sure we heed those warnings as much as we should,” said Richard Davis of Long Island.
European officials have already expressed concerned about the alert’s impact on terrorism, but U.S.-based airlines said so far, they have not seen an increase in the number of flight cancellations.
Americans headed for Europe were also advised to register their travel plans with the State Department.