Officials warn of more terror attacks in US, Europe during holidays

This article is more than 12 months old

WASHINGTONThe abortive bombing by an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-inspired Bangladeshi in New York has raised fresh fears of a possible surge in attacks during the year-end holiday season on both sides of the Atlantic.

Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old immigrant who mainly injured himself when he tried to detonate a pipe bomb in a New York subway on Monday, reportedly told investigators that he targeted the station based on the Christmas posters on the walls.

The explosion, which saw three others lightly injured, came two weeks before Christmas, a period which terror experts says offers potential terrorists a large choice of "soft targets" where many people are gathered, shopping and celebrating, with limited ability to protect them.

The United States State Department has issued an alert for travellers to Europe during the holiday season, reminding them of both the Berlin and Istanbul attacks.

"US citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events," it warned.

"Extremists continue to focus on tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls and local government facilities as viable targets." - AFP