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How safe is your holiday? European hotspots including Spain and Germany at 'high' risk of terrorist attacks

Mirror Mirror 21/04/2016
How safe is your holiday? © Mirror How safe is your holiday?

Every year, millions of Britons flock to European holiday hotspots for a bit of sun and relaxation. But now, some are choosing avoiding the continent altogether, with many destinations at a 'high' risk of terrorism .

UK military chiefs have warned there is a 'serious and direct threat to holiday resorts across Europe' from groups like ISIS.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office (FCO) says 'there is considered to be a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria'.

How safe is your holiday? © Mirror How safe is your holiday?

In recent months, an array of terrorist attacks have taken place across the continent, including suicide bombings in Belgium and France.

And yesterday, a German newspaper reported that Islamic terrorists are plotting to kill tourist by placing bombs under sunbeds on foreign beaches.

So, how safe is your holiday destination? Here, we provide a guide to the most at risk hotspots, according to the FCO.


Risk level: High

More than 12million Brits visit Spain every year, with many heading to the beautiful, sandy beaches of Menorca, Ibiza, Majorca and the Costa Del Sol.

Despite suffering from terrorist attacks in the past, the country has recently managed to avoid the troubles of other Mediterranean countries.

However, the FCO still deems the terror threat in Spain 'high', with a suspected ISIS collaborator arrested by police in Majorca just hours ago.

The Moroccan-born man - who was detained by officers in Palma this morning - is accused of promoting terror attacks in Europe.

The FCO also warns tourists to look out for street thieves and to not take 'unnecessary risks', particularly when 'under the influence of drink or drugs'.


Risk level: High

Germany is the latest European country to have its terrorism risk rating upgraded to 'high' by the FCO.

Around two million Brits visit the nation every year, with many heading to Berlin to visit historic sites and the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

But now, increased security has been put in place at German transport hubs, public buildings and major events 'as a precaution'.

The FCO says on its website: "There’s no requirement to carry your passport with you, but the police are currently carrying out more frequent ID checks.

"If you’re asked to show your passport and you don’t have it with you, the police may escort you to wherever your passport is being kept so that you can show it to them."


Risk level: High

Following the recent bombings at a Brussels airport and metro station, Belgium's terrorism risk rating remains at 'high'.

The explosions, which were the deadliest act of terrorism in the country's history, claimed the lives of 32 victims.

A further 300 people were injured in the attacks, which occurred at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station on March 22.

The FCO warns on its website that terrorists could target Belgium indiscriminately.

It adds that attacks could take place 'on public transport and transport hubs and in other places visited by foreigners'.

"Police operations are ongoing and there have been a number of arrests relating to the recent terrorist attacks," it says.

"You should remain vigilant, stay away from crowded places and follow the instructions of the Belgian authorities."


Risk level: High

France was also recently targeted by terrorists.

A staggering 130 people were killed when suicide bombers and gunmen carried out a series of horrific attacks in Paris last November.

During the massacre, the attackers struck the capital's Bataclan theatre, cafés and restaurants, injuring a further 368 people.

At the time, France was already on a 'high' alert following the shooting at the Charlie Hebdo offices in January last year.

The nation remains at a 'high' risk of terrorism. The FCO says on its website:

"Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures."

It also warns that there has recently been 'occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais'.


Risk level: General

A popular destination with Brits, Italy has a 'general' threat from terrorism.

However, the FCO says most attacks are carried out against 'official Italian targets'.

It writes on its website: "There are isolated cases of domestic terrorism.

"Attacks carried out by the extreme left-wing and secessionist groups have generally been aimed at official Italian targets, mainly in the form of small bombs and incendiary devices."


Risk level: General

Last February, two civilians were killed in two shootings in the Østerbro and Krystalgade areas of Copenhagen.

Five cops were also wounded in the shocking attacks, which are both thought to have been linked and 'terrorist-related'.

The country is ranked as having a 'general' threat from terrosim.

"You should be vigilant at this time," the FCO says on its website.


Risk level: General

There is a 'general' threat from terrorism in Greece, with Brits warned that attacks could happen in tourist hotspots.

The FCO says: "British nationals aren’t normally considered a specific target, but attacks could happen in places visited by foreigners."

In recent years, there have been a number of explosions and shootings at Greek shopping malls, public buildings and government offices.


Risk level: General

Like Italy, Denmark and Greece, Croatia has been given a 'general' terrorism risk rating.


Risk level: Underlying

More than two million Brits visit Portugal every year, with most trips 'trouble-free'.

However, the FCO warns there is an 'underlying' risk of terrorism.

It also advises holidaymakers to be aware of street thieves looking to steal money and passports.

And outside of Europe...


Risk level: High

Officials believe terrorists are planning further attacks in Egypt, home to the popular tourist resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Foreigners have been targeted in previous attacks, with an ongoing threat of kidnapping, especially in remote areas.

Last summer, a Croatian man was kidnapped and murdered in the country.

Terrorists later claimed responsibility for his killing.

And six months ago, a Russian plane from Sharm el-Sheikh crashed in the Sinai desert, killing all 224 people onboard.

Officials confirmed in November that the aircraft had been destroyed by a terrorist bomb.

The FCO warns: "Attacks could be indiscriminate and occur without prior warning.'

The most active terrorist group in Egypt is Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis.


Risk level: High

A state of emergency is currently in effect in Tunisia following a suicide attack on a police bus in November.

There was also a terrorist shooting at a hotel in the tourist resort of Port El Kantaoui, near Suisse, last June, killing 38 people Thirty of the victims were British.

The FCO advises against all travel to the Chaambi Mountain National Park area, the Tunisia-Algeria border crossing points at Ghardimaou, Hazoua and Sakiet Sidi Youssef, the militarized zone south of, but not including, the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba, and within 5km of the Libya border area.

It also advises against all but essential travel to the rest of the country.

Tunisia © Mirror Tunisia


Risk level: High

There is also a 'high' threat from terrorism in Turkey - although some terrorists are more interested in targeting the Turkish state than Western tourists.

Tourists are advised to avoid demonstrations and large gatherings.

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