The US has issued a worldwide travel alert for its citizens in response to “increased terrorist threats”.
“Current information suggests that ISIL (aka Daesh), Al-Qa’ida, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions,” said the State Department advisory.
“US citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation,” it said, advising Americans to avoid large crowds or crowded places and to “exercise particular caution during the holiday season.”
Though the State Department advisory it did not mention the Nov. 13 Paris attacks in which 130 people died, the state body noted that militants had carried out attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali during the past year.
“Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of (Islamic State) return from Syria and Iraq,” it said. “Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis.”
The worlwide travel was issued after French police found a suicide belt in Paris and the White House urged allies to do more in the campaign against Islamic State. Barack Obama is facing pressure in return to show the US-led coalition would intensify efforts in response to the terrorist attacks.
French President Francois Hollande is expected at the White House within a few days to discuss the fight against the jihadists behind the acts of terror that splashed this month. President Hollande, who next visits Russian President Vladimir Putin, is looking ways to organize co-ordinated military operations that would include both the US and Moscow.
American authorities has not ruled out greater co-operation with Moscow, but has expressed scepticism that the Russian head of state will focus the fight on the common enemy rather than use its air strikes to undermine the moderate forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Monday the US would “continue the conversation” with Mr Putin but suggested Obama would make no promises to Mr Hollande during Tuesday’s visit.
Rather, the meeting would be focused on the U.S. showing support, he said.
“This is a time when the French people are grieving and knowing that they can count on the most powerful country in the world to have their back,” Mr Earnest said. “I think it will be a source of significant comfort to the French people.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, the American president asured allies that the US will continue as an effective leader of the global coalition to destroy ISIS.
“Destroying ISIL is not only a realistic goal,” Obama said, using a preferred acronym for the terror group. “We’re going to get it done and we’re going to pursue it. It’s going to get done.”
The president went on, adding that ISIS “cannot strike a mortal blow” to the U.S., France, or even Malaysia.
“They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” he said. “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer. We represent 99.9 percent of humanity and that’s why we should be confident that we will win.”