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State Department issues travel alert over terrorism concerns

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert Monday amid a growing concern over potential terrorist attacks.

The alert, which expires in late February, said numerous terrorism organizations — including ISIS, al-Qaida and others — are continuing to plan attacks in multiple regions. It also said there is concern over lone wolf-style attacks, or those carried out by individuals who may not be in direct contact with a terror group.

The alert asked Americans to be vigilant while using public transportation. It also urged caution when attending large or holiday-oriented events.

The travel alert comes just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. During the long weekend, 46.9 million Americans are expected to go 50 miles or more from home, the highest number since 2007, according to travel agency and car lobbying group AAA.

Airlines for America, the lobbying group for several major airlines, forecasts 25.3 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines.

Earlier this month, ISIS claimed responsibility for downing a Russian airliner over Egypt, killing all 224 people on board. U.S. and British officials said intelligence shows it was likely brought down by a bomb on board.

Numerous European nations have raised their terror alert status in the wake of attacks in Paris that left nearly 130 people dead and more than 350 wounded.

Citing a “serious and imminent” threat of attack, Belgium’s prime minister announced Monday that Brussels will remain at the highest alert level for at least another week, maintaining security measures that have severely disrupted normal life in the capital.

“We are very alert and call for caution,” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said. “The potential targets remain the same; shopping centers and shopping streets and public transport.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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