21:21 GMT18 January 2021
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    The US State Department released a travel alert warning US citizens of the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season. Czech MP Alexander Černý, Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Defense and Security, told Sputnik that this threat should be perceived as significant.

    Daesh "has been gradually losing ground, but constant anti-Daesh operations have had a boomerang effect," he said. "Some of those who support this perverted ideology are still in Europe. Up to 80 militants who share Daesh ideas are hiding in the European Union," he added, citing Dick Schoof, the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism at the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice.

    Cerny urged everyone, particularly security services in Europe, to be "very alert" during the upcoming holiday season since many people flock to Christmas markets across the continent and take part in other related events.

    The Czech MP added that all law enforcement agencies must take any information regarding possible terrorist attacks seriously since it is impossible to implement precautionary measures due to the nature of the threat.

    "Two years ago they did not have to tackle this challenge. It is necessary to make every effort to counter global terrorism with the cooperation of the European Union and global powers," he said.

    Cerny further added that people working for Daesh "have lost their humanity, spreading death and hatred which have become the purpose of their existence."

    Last week, the US State Department said that "credible information" indicates that terrorist groups, including Daesh and al-Qaeda, are planning terrorist attacks in Europe.

    US citizens should "be alert to the possibility that extremist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks during this period with little or no warning," the statement said. "Terrorists may employ a wide variety of tactics, using both conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests."


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    terrorist threat, Christmas, Daesh, Europe
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