One by one, European countries are taking additional security measures for New Year’s Eve – Fears of attacks on churches and outdoor Christmas markets – Metal detectors and increased patrols are deployed by the authorities
The whole of Europe is on “red” alert, which has been “fortified” ahead of the New Year in fear of a terrorist attack.
Security agencies across Europe are on high alert as counter-terrorism experts claim that ISIS remains a ‘serious threat’ exploiting the conflict in Gaza to motivate its supporters.
During the Christmas season, police made several arrests in Spain, Austria, France and Germany while for the New Year celebrations he takes new measures.
Germany: 2,500 police officers on foot
The biggest police operation of the last decades is being prepared by the security authorities of Berlin. According to the official announcements of the police, they are expected on New Year’s Eve 2,000 to 2,500 policemen on footwho will arrive in the German capital from various German states, while the meters will also be increased in metros and railways. Already early Thursday morning members of the security forces plowed the government area, the area around the Brandenburg Gate, the American Embassy and the Holocaust Memorial, while central points and roads have already been blocked.
For their part, members of the fire department and the police are sending their own video message through social media, appealing to citizens: “Don’t attack us!”. Police and fire department call on citizens to avoid abusing fireworks and sparklers on New Year’s Eve for the common good.
— Polizei Berlin (@polizeiberlin) December 27, 2023
At the same time, the Cologne Cathedral, which has been the target of terrorist threats in recent days, remains closed to visitors until at least the New Year.
Vienna: Increased patrols in churches and markets
The Austrian police have too tightens controls around churches, religious events and Christmas markets in Vienna, citing “increased risk”.
Three people were arrested over Christmas on suspicion of being part of an “Islamist network”. But the country’s interior minister said there was no “immediate threat” of an attack on Vienna.
“Terrorists across Europe are calling for attacks on Christian events,” Vienna police said in a warning to citizens.
Barcelona: With metal detectors on the streets the Authorities
Spain also has indications that an Islamist group is planning several attacks in Europe, possibly on New Year’s Eve.
The Authorities of Spain have increased security measures in Madrid temples in fear of some attack.
Barcelona police said they will have increased screenings to prevent glass bottles, knives and dangerous items from being brought into Maria Cristina Avenue where an estimated 10,000 people will be there to welcome the New Year. The Authorities will have at their disposal metal detectors where they will search, in the least intrusive way, for the objects of the attendees.
“It is a very practical way to trace these weapons to any person for whom we have indications that he is on public roads with these materials,” said the mayor, a spokesman for the Police, according to El Pais.
Italy: Special instructions for the New Year
Security measures have also been increased in Italy, with the aim of preventing terrorist attacks, such as defines a special circular of the Ministry of the Interior of Romewhich was sent to the prefects of the country.
The relevant instructions concern the strengthening of security measures and activities to prevent any kind of attack – with helicopter flights over central points of Italian cities – given the developments in the Middle East. At the same time, it is considered possible that there will be new, spectacular mobilizations of environmental organizations.
Most efforts will be made on New Year’s Day and on the eve, when the streets and squares of Italian cities are filled with locals and tourists, also due to the now traditional outdoor concerts on December 31st. During these hours, “special checks” will be carried out by the traffic, police and carabinieri from the northernmost region of the country, Ano Adige, to Sicily.
However, European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson warned on December 5 that Europe faces a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the festive period due to the fallout from the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
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