U.S. warns higher chance of ISIS reprisal attacks

Smoke rises after strikes from the US-led coalition in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on Oct. 10, 2014.

Smoke rises after strikes from the US-led coalition in the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province, on Oct. 10, 2014.

The United States updated its “Worldwide Caution” advisory on Friday, warning of possible reprisal attacks against it and its partners in the coalition to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The State Department said that ISIS has urged its supporters “to attack foreigners wherever they are,” raising the risk of reprisal against the United States and its allies, particularly in North Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The U.S. global threat update said the return of some European jihadists back to their countries has increased the threat level in Europe.

The State Department, echoing its last warning on April 10, said “current information suggests that ISIL, al-Qaeda, its affiliated organizations, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe.”

The Middle East has been transformed in recent months by Islamic State, a Sunni militant group that has seized swathes of Syria and Iraq, crucifying and beheading prisoners and ordering non-Muslims and Shi’ites to convert or die.

The United States has been building a military coalition to fight the group, which requires intervening in both Iraq and Syria, countries with complex multi-sided civil wars in which nearly every state in the region has allies and enemies.

After months of resisting additional U.S. military action in the Middle East, U.S. President Barack Obama in August ordered U.S. airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Iraq and then, last month, in Syria.

Among the nations that have taken part in the airstrikes in one country or the other are Australia, Bahrain, Britain, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

 
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