With recent terrorist attacks in Manchester, London, Paris, Germany, Stockholm, and elsewhere, it’s no surprise many people are worried about travel to Europe. I mean, it seems like every headline you see is about some lunatic blowing themselves up, driving a vehicle into a crowd of people, or the like.
Plus, the U.S. State Department recently put out a travel warning for all of Europe.
Recent, widely-reported incidents in France, Russia, Sweden, and the United Kingdom demonstrate that the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS or Da’esh), al-Qa’ida, and their affiliates have the ability to plan and execute terrorist attacks in Europe. While local governments continue counterterrorism operations, the Department nevertheless remains concerned about the potential for future terrorist attacks. U.S. citizens should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.
But is it something that should keep you from planning a trip to Europe? In short, no. And in case you're still worried, I’ll back that claim up with a few stats.
In Europe, fewer than 1,000 have been killed by terrorists since 2000. Granted, that number has picked up the pace over the past couple of years. If you want to include those injured, the number rises dramatically to over 5,000.
However, consider this: more than 37,000 are killed every year in car crashes.
My point isn’t to minimize terrorist attacks at all. A crazy person who thinks it’s a good idea to blow up a bunch of kids at an Ariana Grande concert should not be minimized. It’s horrifying and sad that there are people in the world who would do that. My point - when it comes to traveling to Europe - is just to put it into a little perspective.
When nearly every headline you see screams “Terrorist Attack,” it can freak people out. And with the way things are today in this social media driven world (where Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram allow us to be aware of everything and anything as it happens), it’s not surprising that that kind of thing will happen.
Should you always take precautions when traveling? Of course! And are terrorists groups something you should forget about? Certainly not.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that, yes, you’re putting yourself at risk by traveling to Europe. But you’re also putting yourself at risk by getting on a plane, driving to work, swimming, skiing, etc.
People put themselves at risk every day and come out on the other side without a scratch. Having said that, you should never let these extremist terrorist nut bags let you change your plans. After all that’s what they would want.
I’ll be headed to Europe later this summer. So take my lead and go on vacation. Have fun. And enjoy.
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