Rather than depending on reporters' often sloppy paraphrasing, which is the most annoying media habit there is (except for starting sentences with "Indeed," that is), have a look at the full text of the State Department's travel alert for Europe, issued this morning:
"The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe. Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks. European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.
Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests. U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.
We continue to work closely with our European allies on the threat from international terrorism, including al-Qaida. Information is routinely shared between the U.S. and our key partners in order to disrupt terrorist plotting, identify and take action against potential operatives, and strengthen our defenses against potential threats.
We recommend U.S. citizens register their travel plans with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website. Travelers may obtain up-to-date information on security conditions by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the U.S. and Canada, or on a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444 from elsewhere in the world."
It's important to know that this alert was not issued in response to new intelligence information of an imminent attack, but rather in assessment of gathering momentum over recent weeks in information about the activities of various Islamic terrorist groups.
However, ABC News is reporting this morning that it has been told that "terrorist teams in Europe have selected their targets, completed their surveillance, eluded capture and are now ready to strike at airports and tourist attractions."
Here's the ABC "exclusive" -- but also note, ABC "exclusives" sometimes have a way of remaining exclusive. That is, ABC News has a reputation for breathless reports on terrorism based on anonymous sources -- reports that haven't panned out on previous occasions.
Still, there is no doubt that Islamic terrorist groups have been tuned-up lately in Europe, which accounts for the State Department action this morning.
Meanwhile, poor Drudge is all hysterical this morning about the well-being of Prince Harry, the Queen of England's grandson. Drudge is in a frenzy about some report in the News of the World that the No. 3 Heir to the Throne is "the main target," number one on a terrorist attack list which also includes the Eiffel Tower, the Hotel Adlon in Berlin and Notre Dame in Paris. Alas, it isn't quite clear why the randy young prince would be tops on the hit list for what the News of the World informs us is a threat from "Islamic and Irish" terrorists -- the News of the World evidently seeing an opportunity to toss in the Irish once more, for old time's sake.
But did the always-dependable News of the World mean to suggest that the terrorists are both Islamic and Irish -- which would be one hell of a terrifying combination if you ask me.