News / Europe

    Europeans, Tourists Take Terror Threats in Stride

    Soldiers patrol at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, France, 04 Oct 2010
    Soldiers patrol at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, France, 04 Oct 2010

    Concern is growing about possible terrorist strikes in Europe.  The United States, Britain, France and Japan issued travel warnings this week and on Tuesday French authorities arrested a dozen suspects with possible ties to Islamist extremists.

    St. Lazare train station in Paris, a major travel hub that was briefly evacuated last week following a bomb alert that proved to be a hoax.  Authorities have also twice evacuated another Paris landmark, the Eiffel Tower, as concern grows across Europe of a major terrorist attack.

    But those worries have not stopped 22-year-old French student Marion Hebert from commuting regularly to Paris from her home city of Rouen, via St. Lazare.

    Hebert says she is not overly concerned about terrorism alerts because French are always hearing about a new threat.

    Police patrol sealed-off entrance to the street where the British embassy is situated in Berlin on 05 Oct 2010
    Police patrol sealed-off entrance to the street where the British embassy is situated in Berlin on 05 Oct 2010

    Alerts issued earlier this week by the United States, Britain, France and Japan warned their citizens traveling in various parts of Europe.  The warnings are vague.  The United States, for example, has generally warned Americans to avoid major tourist attractions and transportation hubs.

    News reports suggest authorities are concerned about al-Qaida attacks in Europe similar to the 2008 strikes in Mumbai, India.

    On Tuesday, authorities in southern France arrested a dozen people with suspected ties to Islamist extremists.  It is not immediately clear if the arrests were linked to the latest terrorism concerns.

    But the fears have not changed the travel plans of one American retiree, Roy, who was waiting for a train at St. Lazare with a group of friends.

    "It is something to be aware of.  We are not really worried about it.  We are just trying to be vigilant, pay attention.  It has not changed our plans," he said.

    Same response from one South Korean tourist, who gave her name as Amy.  She was heading into Galleries Lafayette, a Paris department store that is popular among tourists.

    "I heard today, this morning, in the news.  I heard it is kind of dangerous right now, but I am not really worried," said Amy.

    In London, international security expert Bob Ayers notes city residents are no stranger to terrorist strikes, having weathered those by the Irish Republican Army as well as the 2005 bombings by Islamist extremists on London's mass transit.

    "The Londoners became very familiar with it.  It is nothing anybody welcomes or relishes but you learn to live through it," said Ayers.  "Even when we had the two bombings [in 2005] several years back, the Londoners got back on the tubes the next day and went back to work."

    French and Spaniards are also hardened by terrorist strikes in their countries, both by Islamist extremists and nationalist groups.  And, Ayers says, there really is not much the public can do to respond to these latest warnings.

    "I am not sure there are any precautions that are possible to take.  If the terrorists are targeting national monuments, if they are targeting places where people congregate like restaurants, supermarkets, the bank, athletic events - the only way to take precautions would be to stay in your house and never go out," he said.

    While Ayers says Europe remains a easy target for terrorist attacks. He also notes that reports suggest American and European intelligence services appear to be working very well in trying to root out potential threats.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora