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US updates Europe terror alert to include UK

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An update to the US State Departments travel alert for Europe says the UK is at risk of being hit by terrorists. In the advisory issued on Monday, the State Department explained that terrorist organisations had the ways and means of attacking targets in the UK and on mainland Europe.

The bulletin specifically mentioned Isis and Al-Qaeda and said extremists attached to these groups could launch attacks in any number of ways. It said terrorists had in the past used bombs, guns, blades and vehicles to attack and there was no reason to believe they would not do the same again.

The advisory cited recent attacks in the UK, Sweden, France and Russia as examples of the fact terrorists could strike in any place and at any time. The State Department says US citizens travelling in Europe during the summer months need to have a backup plan in case of emergencies.

The advice added that travellers needed to ensure families and friends back home could contact them in the event of an emergency and to be prepared for more stringent than usual security checks. The warning also included the standard codicil that in the event of an emergency US citizens needed to follow any instructions from local authorities.

The advice included a comprehensive list of possible targets which ranged from transport hubs to popular tourist sights. It noted that even soft targets like eateries, public events and hotels could not be ruled out of bounds. Unless it is updated, the travel alert is valid through to 1 September 2017.