Following a series of high-profile terror attacks in 2018, the Australian Government is stepping up efforts to secure travelers by tightening visa rules. A number of new measures – including more scrutiny of visitors from previously high-risk countries, tougher language training, more thorough fingerprinting and iris scans, and longer application processes – will not only help to stop terrorists planning an attack but also tackle the “pushback” of economic migrants and refugees into Australia.
Air New Zealand had to cancel more than 50 flights to and from the U.S. over the weekend. The airline’s decision follows a warning from Australia that the “national security threat level is high” and that airlines flying to American airports should think about putting in place security measures to mitigate the risk of an attack.
Banned items for tourists have been heavily restricted since a lethal attack in June 2017. Hotels have been instructed to ban passengers from bringing in items such as road signs, maps, gift bags, tablets, chairs, bicycle rims, false footwear, and model cars. Tourists wanting to bring in any other items will have to foot a heavier bill.
The Japanese Government published a travel warning for Japan on September 24 that warned of an “unpredictable” terrorism threat. The warning came in the wake of the attack on the resort island of Okinawa on September 15 when a man injured 17 people by driving a car into a crowd.
According to Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on September 20 that “all options are on the table” in a serious terror attack in Israel. He said that any violent attack against Israelis would be met with an aggressive response. However, his government issued a warning on September 22 that there were very few credible threats, and that armed terrorist attacks would likely be illegal.
The Netherlands announced that it was banning selfie sticks on all forms of aircraft from October 22. The measure comes after the prosecution of two men for taking photos of the runway and engine at Amsterdam-Schiphol airport using selfie sticks, which could not be moved. The Belgian Air Safety Commission also recommended in August that passengers prevent self-portraits of themselves, as it said that subjects could be “invisible” to aviation safety and security personnel.
Anecdotal evidence of suspicious activity has surged in the United Kingdom in the past year. In August, the Metropolitan Police said that the first 500 people arrested in London were those deemed to be “pre-flight suspects.” And, in March, police conducted a raid on a student housing complex, where they seized items including a large number of alcohol bottles and bottles of hand sanitizer.
Vietnam temporarily banned tourists from bringing in large steel waste drums for two months in July, after a June raid on a traditional medicinal medical practice at a center in the south-central province of Dong Nai.
Photographs of suicide bombers were flashed around the world following the June 14 attack in Nice, which killed 84 people.
Oftentimes a reassuring response to a terror attack is a fear-based travel warning. In July, Germany announced that it would publish a revised version of its travel warning for France and Spain.
Despite the diplomatic disputes between Washington and Moscow and the tensions between the U.S. and many European countries, security analysts noted that, throughout 2016, the U.S. embassy in each of the following countries issued at least one warning about potential terrorist threats. The following note should not be construed as a guarantee that an attack has been attempted, with the exceptions listed below.