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If You’re Going Abroad Soon, You Should Probably Read This Travel Alert Just Issued by the State Dept.

"An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests..."

Travelers check in to board flights on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014 at LaGuardia Airport in the Queens borough of New York City, New York. Despite earlier delays prompted by a storm that brought heavy rain, wind, and snow to some parts of the North East, flights are arriving and departing on schedule. (Photo by Andrew Theodorakis/Getty Images)

The State Department issued a worldwide travel alert Friday afternoon, warning Americans traveling abroad to be "extra cautious" because of a new intelligence analysis.

"The lone wolf attack in Sydney, Australia on December 15, 2014, resulting in the deaths of two hostages, is a reminder that U.S. citizens should be extra cautious, maintain a very high level of vigilance, and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security," the travel alert said. "This Travel Alert expires on March 19, 2015."

[sharequote align="right"]"U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups ... can pose unpredictable threats in public venues."[/sharequote]

The alert warned that intelligence indicates terrorists are focusing on civilian targets, as well as U.S. government facilities.

"An analysis of past attacks and threat reporting strongly suggests a focus by terrorists not only on the targeting of U.S. government facilities but also on hotels, shopping areas, places of worship, and schools, among other targets, during or coinciding with this holiday period," it said.

"U.S. citizens abroad should be mindful that terrorist groups and those inspired by them can pose unpredictable threats in public venues. U.S. citizens should remain alert to local conditions and for signs of danger," the travel alert added.

The State Department suggested U.S. citizens traveling abroad enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program which provides real-time alerts on security updates.

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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