An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:
From The Associated Press
On our government's terror warnings:
The United States, Canada, Britain and Japan are warning travelers of a possible terrorist attack by al-Qaida or other groups in Europe.
The warning is vague, but perhaps better than no warning at all.
The directives tell of assaults against European cities similar to the shootings in Mumbai, India, in 2008.
A report from Pakistan intelligence circulated last week that eight Germans and two Britons were planning a terrorist attack on European cities. The suspected plotters reside in North Waziristan, Pakistan's lawless tribal region.
So what do Americans traveling in Europe or preparing for such a trip do with the warning? Stay home? Spend the vacation inside their hotel? Hire armed escorts for forays to museums and restaurants?
Michael Chertoff, former secretary of U.S. Homeland Security, advised travelers to use common sense. Know where you are in a city, be aware of exits when visiting tourist stops, consider where you would take shelter in case of an attack and "Don't walk around with the American flag on your back."
On Sunday, the U.S. State Department cautioned Americans in Europe to take extra care for their personal security.
Several Western nations seemed to concur that the threat was real but not imminent.
Whether this advisory becomes one more forgotten missive or the harbinger of a violent event, time will tell.
But travelers have indicated they will not alter their plans because terrorists may be lurking. Life and travel must go on.
And warning the public about terrorist attacks remains an imperfect art.
-- The Watertown (N.Y.)