Threats about a terror attack in Europe are real enough that the State Department is expected to issue a "travel alert" tomorrow asking Americans to be wary about visiting tourist sites overseas. In the semantics of government-speak, it's expected to be a notch below a "warning"—meaning it won't tell Americans to stay away from specific European sites or countries, just advise them to be on their guard. "The bottom line is travel, but be vigilant," one State Department official tells the AP.
A warning of any kind along those lines is likely to deal a serious blow to tourism because of liability regulations, notes the Washington Post. Intelligence reports of late suggest al-Qaeda is planning Mumbai-style attacks in major European cities where Western tourists congregate. (Read more Europe stories.)