Broad Terror Alert in Europe: Just Another Way to Say “I Told You So”?2 min read
There’s buzz this week about the recent terrorism warnings for Europe issued by government authorities: can travelers put them to use? If not, what’s the point? A quick sampling of the blogosphere seems to indicate that while security experts support the step, travelers are not altering any plans. My take is that we are witnessing a behavior common among those in authority who have important but inconclusive information: warn of adverse events without recommending a specific course of action. Why? So you aren’t in retrospect accused of being asleep at the wheel. In other words, general admonitions to be extra watchful and careful serve to clear consciences rather than save lives.
99% of us would agree with the Northwestern student in France who said, “I was planning a trip to Paris in December, but I’m not thinking about changing my plans because of the alert. I don’t take it as seriously, which is bad, but it is the truth.” We are all aware of terrorism to the point of being numb. To be fair, security professionals typically append the advice “don’t let fear rule your life” to the warnings they issue. I submit that our readers long ago took this advice or they wouldn’t have become world travelers. We are well aware of the general threat that terrorism poses. Even if we are traveling to cauldrons such as Karachi or Kabul, if there is no concrete advice to help us avoid a terrorist attack, we gladly carry on with our plans.
Here at HTB, we try to relay news and trends that travelers can put to use. In this spirit, we will begin posting Travel Bulletins that very succinctly capture risks to be avoided or managed as they arise around the world. Sometimes we may offer advice that is of immediate use. At other times we may be tracking ongoing or impending risks. Look for these Bulletins interspersed with our usual posts and let us know how helpful you find them.
Photo by nickstone333.