Amtrak's Texas Eagle rolled into Austin a few minutes late Tuesday morning. Sara Perez and her two daughters were among those waiting to board. It’s a special day because it’s the first time on a train for her daughters. Perez was not about to cancel their trip.
"We feel very safe, we just want to do something fun because this is a holiday,” said Perez who refused to let a federal travel alert spoil the day.
The State Department issued this alert Monday. It warns that;
Authorities believe the likelihood of terror attacks will continue as members of ISIL/Da'esh return from Syria and Iraq. Additionally, there is a continuing threat from unaffiliated persons planning attacks inspired by major terrorist organizations.
The alert covers a period of time when college football bowl games are held and when holiday gatherings take place; including New Years. It also comes just as Madan Doraira plans to join thousands of others at the airport. Doraira is flying to Istanbul just as tensions between Turkey and Russia are escalating.
"I think my wife is concern about it; I need to think through this over the next three week period,” said Doraira.
According to the State Department - it would be best just to avoid crowded places, between now and the end of February. If that’s not possible authorities want people to stay vigilant.
"There is no specific or credible threat that we are aware of right now, if we do we'd let the public know about it.,” said DPS Director Steve McCraw,
But Director McCraw added, if someone sees a possible security threat - it can be reported on a website called; iwatchtx.org.The process takes less than five minutes to complete.
"It’s one other way; we want to make sure they have all the options because it's too important. Every lead, every report, matters, because you don’t know what that means until after the fact. And after the fact, that one little piece, that one little clue, might have been the dot that we needed to prevent an attack,” said McCraw.
DPS has provided a list of suspicious behavior and activity to consider reporting -- it includes;
• Strangers asking questions about building security features and procedures.
• Briefcase, suitcase, backpack or package is left behind.
• Cars or trucks are left in no-parking zones at important buildings.
• Chemical smells or fumes that are unusual for the location.
• People requesting sensitive information, such as blueprints, security plans or VIP travel schedules, without a need to know.
• Purchasing supplies that could be used to make bombs or weapons, or purchasing uniforms without having the proper credentials.
• Taking photographs or videos of security features, such as cameras or checkpoints.
There is also a phone number on the website for anonymous tips to be called in. That number is 1-866-786-5972.