The US state department issued a global travel alert late on Monday, warning all citizens that the threat of being caught in a terrorist attack is raised.

The warning is in response to an increased terror threat level from groups such as Isis, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, as well as unaffiliated individuals ('lone wolf' attackers) who may try to copy the terror groups' methods following the recent attacks on civilians in Mali, Paris, Lebanon and Egypt.

It will remain in place until 24 February 2016.

The US's own National Terrorism Advisory System has not issued an alert since it replaced the colour-coded Bush administration era threat level system in 2011.

Which technically makes the US safer than anywhere else right now (according to the US, anyway).

Data from the Global Terrorism Index shows that 97 per cent of terror attacks in the last 15 years have occurred in non-Western countries.

While that doesn't mean that US nationals couldn't get caught up in attacks elsewhere, it's worth remembering that the threat to them still remains relatively small.

According to figures complied by Politifact from the state department and Mass Shooting Tracker, from 2004 to 2014, 303 US citizens were killed in terrorist attacks worldwide (71 deaths were due to incidents of domestic terrorism).

During that same decade, 320,523 Americans died because of firearms at home.

Global travel terror alerts are relatively rare. The last time the US issued one was in December 2014, in the wake of the Sydney cafe hostage siege that left three dead.

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