A travel advisory issued by the Counterterrorism Bureau of Israel’s National Security Council ahead of the Jewish New Year warns Israelis that Islamic State (ISIS) militants returning to their home countries in Europe may seek to target them.
The NSC issues travel advisories twice a year, in advance of the popular travel times of the Jewish New Year and Passover. These travel warnings are based on assessments of the situations in countries and areas considered risky destinations for Israelis, and on open-source and classified intelligence information.
“The upcoming holiday season could be targeted by terrorist organizations to attack Israelis and Jews abroad,” the NSC said in a statement. “Travel warnings are issued as a service to the public ahead of the fall-winter tourist season. It is important to note that these warnings reflect nothing new, rather represent the current situation while citing the gravity of the travel warning to each country or region. The travel warnings issued by the Counterterrorism Bureau are based on concrete and reliable information which reflect a substantial threat.”
According to the NSC: “The string of radical Islamic terrorist attacks during the past year in Belgium, Canada, Australia, France and Denmark raises concerns over additional attacks against western targets, among them Israeli and Jewish targets as well.”
Of particular concern to the NSC are western and northern Europe, which the NSC says may be targeted by global jihadis, including ISIS “graduates” returning from the battlefields of Iraq and Syria and those locals who have not themselves fought, “but are inspired by terrorist groups.”
ISIS followers are not the only source of concern for the NSC. “The campaign of terror waged by Iran and Hezbollah continues to pose a threat to Israeli and Jewish targets across the globe, with an emphasis on Israeli tourist destinations and Jewish symbols, Jewish community leaders and Chabad houses.”
41 countries and eight regions, such as the Sinai Peninsula, made the travel advisory list. Turkey remains on the list, with a general warning to avoid unnecessary visits there.