State Department issues worldwide travel alert

TSA officials at Bradley International Aiport

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (WTNH) — As millions of Americans are getting ready to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, the State Department has issued a worldwide travel alert.

The alert is uncommon, but they say the biggest threat to our community right now is homegrown violent extremists, so security is being stepped up.

Montreal, Hartford, Newark and Grand Rapids. For Canadian traveler Louis Borin, it’s four airports in one day.

“I think flying is the safest way to travel. Even if there’s here or there something, it’s still the safest,” said Borin.

A seasoned traveler, Borin said with the worldwide travel alert, there was a noticeable difference on his first flight.

“Everybody is looking around you know and I think it’s good that way. It’s that I think we went through a period where everybody was really alert and then all of a sudden nobody’s taking care of that and now we’re back to that level,” said Borin.

Since May of 2011, the U.S. State Department has issued only four worldwide travel alerts. This latest one sites growing concerns that terror groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions.

At airports across the country, travelers can expect to see more security guards, additional K-9 patrols, and will have to go through extra screening at check-in.

For Kirsten Wickson, it’s the first time her daughter will be walking through security on her own.

“I wanna make sure she’s with me. We’ve had the whole discussion about holding her hand and so I’m a little nervous about that but hopefully it will work,” said Wickson.

The State Department says the purpose of the alert isn’t to stop people from traveling. Instead, they hope the warning encourages people to do their part in spotting a possible threat.

“I think it’s probably appropriate for people to be careful,” said Faye Smith.

On the day before the busiest travel day of the year, Bradley International seems to be handling the alert well.

“A couple more security patrols then I’ve seen in the past but actually, I’m actually, we’re impressed there’s not much traffic today,” said Wickson.

And most travelers, like Borin, say they won’t let a would-be terrorist stop them from getting where they need to be.

“I’m fine with it. You know I think we should, we have to be careful. There’s a lot of things going on and we gotta watch out,” said Borin.

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