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
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

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.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid