State Dept. Issues Europe Travel Alert After Belgium Attacks

Three American airlines canceled or diverted flights to and from terror-hit Brussels Airport

Saying terrorist groups continue to plan attacks in Europe, the United States State Department issued a travel alert to citizens Tuesday, warning of the risks posed by traveling in Europe. 

The alert mentions the series of explosions claimed by Islamic State terrorists Tuesday, which killed 31 people.

"Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation," the State Department said in its advisory, which urged vigilance in public places. The advisory expires June 20.

American, United and Delta airlines had canceled or diverted their flights to and from Brussels Airport in the wake of the attack at the Belgian capital early Tuesday morning.

Brussels closed the airport after the attacks, which left 11 people dead in the departure hall and 20 more dead in a subway car at a nearby station, authorities said. The city was on high alert as law enforcement agents searched for a suspect believed to have escaped the airport after the explosions, which left many others injured. 

The State Department Tuesday urged U.S. citizens to keep updated from local media sources on travel plans, update family on their travel plans and enroll in the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.

"European governments continue to guard against terrorist attacks and conduct raids to disrupt plots. We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats," the department said.

All three airlines affected by the airport's closure said they were making accommodations for travelers affected by the cancellations. Each also extended condolences to those impacted by the attacks.

American Airlines had canceled all flights to and from Brussels for Wednesday and Thursday. Delta diverted a flight from New York to Amsterdam in the wake of the attack, and said two flights scheduled to depart the U.S. Tuesday night were canceled.

United canceled its two flights scheduled to depart for Brussels Tuesday evening, which would have left from Washington Dulles International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport, and canceled flights that would have returned to those airports tomorrow, according to a statement.

All American employees and crew members are accounted for, the airline said, and no injuries were reported. Its check-in is located at Row 8 of Brussels airport's departure hall, and that the morning's explosions -- which occurred about 8 a.m. Brussels time -- did not happen at Row 8. 

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