Threats from terrorist groups prompted the U.S. State Department to issue a nationwide travel alert covering the next three months, said Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn.
"At present, this travel alert goes into February of next year," Wynn said.
Terrorist groups such as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, and ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which refer to the same group, as well as al-Qa'ida and Boko Haram have claimed responsibility for many terrorist attacks worldwide and are issuing more threats of violence, according to www.travel.state.gov.
The nationwide alert warns U.S. citizens of the "possible risks of travel due to increased terrorist threats ... of attacks in multiple regions."
The alert states that "these attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics, using conventional and non-conventional weapons and targeting both official and private interests."
The travel alert expires Feb. 24, 2016.
There is no specific threat, especially locally, Wynn said, but citizens should be alert and especially careful when traveling or attending events that draw massive crowds and attention.
As members of ISIL/ISIS return from Syria and Iraq, the likelihood of terror attacks will continue, according to national authorities, the warning stated.
"Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis," the statement reads.
Extremists have targeted and threatened to target large sporting events, theaters, open markets and aviation services. Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was on high alert when the World Wrestling Entertainment's Survivor Series was held in Phillips Arena in Atlanta last weekend.
In the past several months, there have been multiple attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey and Mali, and ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombing of a Russian airliner in Egypt, according to the State Department.
People are urged to be extra vigilant when in public or using public transportation. Avoiding large crowds is advisable, and added caution during the holiday season is wise, the State Department said.
The department also recommended that citizens keep up with breaking news and "be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions" when traveling.
"If you see something, say something," Wynn said. "I don't think the government is saying you should change all activities," but be careful and vigilant.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to local law enforcement authorities, he said.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.