'It was frightening to be on way to Europe with attacks happening'
American citizens flying from Dublin to the States were feeling "anxious" yesterday after the US government issued a worldwide travel alert, citing "increased terrorist threats".
The United States issued the global travel alert following the attacks in Paris and Mali. While the US state department did not advise people against travel, they said American citizens should be cautious - especially in crowded places.
"Current information suggests that Isil, al-Qa'ida, Boko Haram and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions," said the state department advisory.
"Extremists have targeted large sporting events, theatres, open markets and aviation services.
"US citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using transportation."
At Dublin Airport yesterday, Americans expressed their concerns about the alert as hundreds boarded planes bound for New York, Boston and Chicago.
Newlyweds Sean and Lori Murphy, from St Louis in Missouri, were anxious about flying back to Chicago after the alert was released.
The couple selected Ireland as their honeymoon destination - believing it to be much safer than mainland Europe.
"We have never visited Ireland and have always wanted to visit the country," Mr Murphy told the Irish Independent.
"We were boarding the plane to Ireland when the news was breaking about the terrorist attacks in Paris.
"It was frightening to think we were on our way to Europe where the terrorist attacks were happening."
Ms Murphy said that while she enjoyed her time in Ireland - especially the couple's trip to the Cliffs of Moher - she was happy to be going home.
Many passengers were too nervous to talk to the media yesterday.
The US government has regularly issued worldwide travel alerts since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The current travel alert expires next year on February 24.