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The U.S. State Department issued a worldwide alert for travelers Friday in the wake of this week’s terror attack in Paris that ended with the gunmen dead in a shootout with police earlier that morning.

"Recent terrorist attacks, whether by those affiliated with terrorist entities, copycats, or individual perpetrators, serve as a reminder that U.S. citizens need to maintain a high level of vigilance," the State Department said in an updated warning Friday.

The caution comes after brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, suspected of killing 12 people at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and another gunman died in shootouts with police Friday. Cherif Kouachi told a French television station during the standoff that they were "sent by Yemen's al Qaeda."

A bulletin released by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security Friday said the attackers displayed "a greater degree of sophistication and advance weapons handling" than is typically seen in an operation using small arms. And it says they "acted with confidence and exhibited skill in weapons handling," which it said may be "indicative of prior training."

The joint bulletin says there are no known terror threats against the US, but notes that overseas terror groups remain committed to attacking western targets and urges police to maintain their state of vigilance.


— Pete Williams