WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Citing "increased terrorist threats" from militant groups in various regions of the world, the U.S. State Department issued a global alert on Monday for Americans planning to travel following deadly militant attacks in France and Mali.
As millions of Americans prepare to travel for the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the agency said potential attackers could target private or government interests.
The department did not advise people against travel but said U.S. citizens should be vigilant, especially in crowded places.
The State Department has regularly issued such worldwide travel alerts since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. A State Department official said the latest alert, which expires Feb. 24, effectively updated past warnings.
In the statement on its website, the State Department said: "Current information suggests that (Islamic State), al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, and other terrorist groups continue to plan terrorist attacks in multiple regions."
Although it did not mention the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed by the Islamic State group in which 130 died, the department noted that militants had carried out attacks in France, Nigeria, Denmark, Turkey, and Mali during the past year.
"Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of (Islamic State) return from Syria and Iraq," it said. "Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations but conducted on an individual basis."
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Eric Walsh)