Following the terrorist attack on London Bridge on 29 November 2019, increased police presence will be felt throughout the capital. Be vigilant and report any suspicious behavior to the police.
The ideological clash that is "terrorism" is the defining element of the current century. So, what is the likelihood London will be the scene of a terror attack?
In July 2005, London was shaken by bombings in three underground trains at King's Cross station, a bus and other areas, which resulted in 52 deaths. Four men, three British nationals of Pakistani background and a Jamaican, who were behind the attacks, all died.
Since the 2005 attacks, changes have been made to underground stations, such as the removal of rubbish bins. Everyone is keeping an eye out for suspicious activity (their life might depend on it), so don‘t leave bags unattended anywhere in the country.
For similar security reasons, the UK Department for Transport sometimes changes its rules on the types of luggage you can carry on planes and other modes of transportation.
The country was on edge again in December 2010, after incidents which included a suicide bombing in Stockholm, Sweden and an alleged plan for a shooting spree in Copenhagen, Denmark, which involved men who had been living near London. Nine men were later charged with conspiracy to bomb several spots in London like the Stock Exchange and U.S. Embassy around Christmas.
English police went on high alert early in 2011 after intelligence revealed some terrorist cells could be planning attacks in London‘s transportation centers.
In 2013, Lee Rigby, a British soldier returning to barracks was murdered by two men operating as a 'lone wolf' pack.
In 2017, 22 people died when a nail bomb was detonated by a suicide bomber at a pop concert in Manchester. Most of the dead and injured were teenagers.
Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed or injured in these cowardly attacks on innocent people. We will continue to urge travelers to use caution wherever they go, but also hold true to our belief that travel can change the world for the better. The exchange of ideas, and being able to see we are all just human beings, can only enhance understanding and promote peace.
Avoid all political rallies and large gatherings. The most recent problems have come from radical left groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Anarchists, and other Eco Terrorists. Their antics can be very disruptive to travel schedules.
Since the attacks of 9/11 in the United States, and Mumbai in 2011 there has been a move away from mass coordinated attacks and a rise of small cell, or 'lone wolf' terror attacks.
This type of operation was responsible for the attacks in Paris in 2015 and Brussels in 2016. A smaller operating group with no formal links to a larger organization makes the killers harder to detect... and the fear this could happen anywhere at anytime more terrifying.
London's police and anti-terror authorities have identified this type of attack as the most likely to occur.
The implications on travel to the United Kingdom and Europe remain unchanged. The threat of terrorism is the new normal. Just two months after the Westminster attack in London, security authorities reported they were investigating and thwarting potential attacks on a weekly basis. It is impossible to predict where or when the next one will occur.
But the fact remains the chances of being involved in a terror event are extremely small. According to a 2011 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the average American is many, many times more likely to be killed in a vehicle accident as they are to be killed by a terrorist.
The UK is at the same risk of terror attack today as it was before Manchester, we’re just more aware of it now, feeling the hurt and the fear.
For some perspective, read this: How do you decide if it’s still safe to go?
There are also predictions of great civil unrest when and if the UK leaves the EU primarily from the remainers. You should also expect travel delays and confusion entering the UK after the UK leaves the EU due to unresolved issues of visas, permissions and requirements. This includes connecting through the UK to other destinations in Europe.
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