European cities tighten security ahead of New Year celebrations

European cities tighten security ahead of New Year celebrations

Security is being stepped up in major European cities ahead of New Year celebrations, with officials wary of possible terror plots.

New Year fireworks and festivities have been cancelled in the Belgian capital Brussels because of an alert.Extra measures will also be in place in cities including Paris, London, Berlin and Moscow.

Meanwhile in Turkey, security services say they have thwarted a major plot to attack celebrations in Ankara.Earlier this week, Austrian police claimed a “friendly intelligence service” had tipped them off that major European capitals were at risk of being attacked over the holiday period.

Brussels alert

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said the Brussels decision had been taken “given information we have received”. Last year 100,000 people turned out in Brussels to welcome in the New Year.

“In these circumstances, we can’t check everyone,” Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said.

Earlier in the week, police arrested two people suspected of planning attacks during the festive season and seized propaganda for so-called Islamic State (IS) as well as military clothing and computer equipment.

Belgium has been on high alert since the terror attacks of 13 November in Paris. Several of the perpetrators are thought to have been based in Belgium. Read more

 

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