Please sign in to post.
Posted by
8100 posts

That's funny, I live over here, am registered with the Consulate, and live in the city with the biggest airport and biggest train station and I haven't received a notice.

Posted by
31465 posts

Jeff,

The equivalent Canadian Government web site also mentions the elections and possibility of attacks, however they haven't increased the threat level for travellers. It's still at the lowest level "Exercise Normal Security Precautions".

Hopefully there are no problems. If I was planning to travel to Germany at this time, it wouldn't change my plans in the least.

Cheers!

Posted by
2193 posts

When considering the election time bombings in Madrid, I suppose the US and British governments are trying to play it safe. I can understand the German government’s increased security measures, but I don’t really get why travelers from here would need to “keep a low profile” in Germany. Who “keeps a low profile” when visiting New York or DC? What is that supposed to mean anyway...stay off the trains or what? I agree that I wouldn’t change a thing if I were visiting soon. Put on the Birkenstocks, and hit the road.

Posted by
354 posts

We are off to Germany next week. I have absolutely no intention of changing our plans. Our first trip to Europe was 11 days after 9/11 - so I am definitely not going to let this little alert stop us......

Posted by
2717 posts

Hi,

Just flew back from Munich today. I didn't know anything about this but it wouldn't have made us change our plans.

Posted by
12040 posts

"but I don’t really get why travelers from here would need to “keep a low profile” in Germany"

Usually, this means stay away from political rallies, wear conservative clothes, don't announce to everyone within earshot your travel plans, etc.

Posted by
11805 posts

I also see it as a cover your rear end warning from State. The threat to Germany is because they are helping us in Afghanistan - and we repay them by issuing a travel warning for Americans visiting Germany.

The threat is so low I hope no one will think twice before visiting Germany.

Posted by
12040 posts

The government isn't saying "Don't travel", but pay close attention to your surroundings and follow common sense precautions. These advisories are released for valid reasons. Anyone remember the Baader-Meinhoff Gang, or the Red Brigade attacks of the 1970s and 80s?

Posted by
2193 posts

Hopefully, nobody is indicting all believers of Muslim faith, right? I mean, the factions mentioned above comprise an infinitesimally small, albeit dangerous, segment of the more than 1 billion Muslims worldwide. Brad has a valid point…al Qaeda specifically mentioned Germany’s involvement in Afghanistan. I didn’t see any claim of expertise in international terrorism in his reply. Does anyone on this thread have such proficiency in this area? Even Germany’s Foreign Minister indicated that he sees no reason for such alerts for US tourists. Why would US tourists somehow be more at risk than the citizens of the country under specific threat? A reminder from State is fine, but how exactly are commuters in a city of great diversity, such as in London, Madrid, or Frankfurt, realistically supposed to pay more attention? And, what are airline passengers supposed to do about the reported CIA warning to Berlin regarding shoulder-fired missile attack…how do they “keep a low profile” in this scenario? Germany has stepped up security...that's appropriate. I would follow the regular personal security and safety precautions one should always consider when traveling abroad and have a great trip. I wouldn’t worry about “keeping a low profile” before, during, or after the elections.

Posted by
980 posts

Oh, it's so nice to be back from a European vacation and back to American political arguments. :)

I have a feeling that if this warning were issued sometime late 2001 or anytime in 2002, nobody would be offended by it. In fact, we might even all thankfully take head to it. After all, who knows how many of these warnings have actually prevented some kind of attack. I guess we will never know, since they didn't happen.

How quickly we forget two years ago when American tourists were targeted by terrorists in the Taj Majal hotel!

For those of us that employ common sense in our day to day lives, this warning would seem redundant and perhaps overkill. For those who are oblivious to the fact that someone else may want to harm them based solely on their country of origin, or for those who may have never traveled abroad and therefore not know what to look for, this may actually be very helpful advice.

Posted by
11805 posts

Actually James I was in Hamburg Saturday morning after the terror cell was arrested on Friday.

It seemed about the same as here with the recent arrest of a group the FBI says were planning attacks. People obviously have some concern but everyone also realizes they can't shut themselves in their homes because there may be an attack sometime, somewhere.

A warning does get me to pay more attention. In this case, however, it was a message recorded (presumably in Pakistan) saying Germany would pay for being in Afghanistan. That's hardly a threat you can act on.

Posted by
2193 posts

Regarding Mumbai, while early reports indicated American and British hotel guests may have been targeted, I recall reading that subsequent US government analysis determined there was no credible evidence to support that the Lashkar-e-Taiba bad guys singled out these nationalities in particular. Perhaps a similar travel alert in advance of the attacks, however, would have directed the American well-heeled to more modest accommodations in that city, similar to those many of us frequent when in Europe (i.e. Indian equivalent of B&B or Privatzimmer)? Not likely. I’m still not sure what a tourist in Berlin, for example, is supposed to do when on the U-Bahn during this warning period. Pay more attention to Muslims with backpacks? And what about Oktoberfest…are you supposed to sit on the side of the tent opposite the guys of dark complexion not drinking beer or eating pork knuckle? Of course, you don’t need to worry about these things on November 12. I say take the regular personal security and safety precautions, and forget about the rest. Enjoy your vacation.

Posted by
11217 posts

I do in Berlin what I do in Washington, in Paris as in New York--I'm aware of my surroundings and the people in those surroundings. If something doesnt' feel right, I walk away.

Travel alerts and warnings will not make me change my travel plans. Just keep me more alert.

If you change your plans because of these alerts, the terrorists win.

Posted by
12040 posts

Let's make a converse argument. Suppose the State Department, despite having knowledge of the attack threats, decided not to issue a travel advisory because they considered the risk too low. Then, an attack did occur and Americans were injured or killed. Imagine the outcry, recriminations, allegations and investigations that would result. Trust me, no government agency welcomes the idea of having to defend itself in that way.

Posted by
11805 posts

James,

I understand that, as well as what Tom said about having to issue a warning.

Maybe you can't say but am I to read in to the warning that there is a more credible threat than what I hear on the news? If so, how do you decide what to tell tourists without revealing sources that, I'm sure, are secret.

What I read, as far as the threat goes, doesn't seem actionable.

Posted by
2193 posts

Using the example from above, it’s probably more instructive in this case to compare the U.S. State Department to the Severe Storms Prediction Center rather than to the NWS. That is to say, U.S. State Department is to Severe Storms Prediction Center (and local NWS) as travel alert is to tornado watch. Conditions may be favorable, but nothing is imminent. A tornado watch alerts us to the potential for tornado outbreaks here in Tornado Alley, but we go about our regular business without changing plans for something that could occur. When the NWS issues a tornado warning, however, all bets are off, plans are changed, and we take shelter. When the State Department issues travel warnings, we may determine it best to avoid places like Lebanon altogether. Applied to the travel alert for Germany, the tornado watch analogy indeed makes sense. Oh, and the NWS is much more precise now with respect to issuing tornado warnings only for specific real estate in the path of a supercell storm rather than issuing blanket warnings for an entire county. Ich wünsche Ihnen schöne Wetter (or something like that...I'm sure I'll be corrected).