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Austrian police tighten security after terror warning

Austrian police have raised security in Vienna after receiving warnings from “friendly” intelligence services about possible terror attacks before New Years

Police in Vienna said Saturday that they have stepped up security precautions after a warning to several European capitals about the possibility of an attack using explosives or firearms between Christmas and New Year.

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Vienna police said a “friendly” intelligence service had warned European capitals of the possibility of a shooting or bomb attack before New Year, prompting police across the continent to increase security measures, though no events have been called off.

“Several possible names of potential attackers were mentioned, which were checked, and the investigation based on (these checks) has so far yielded no concrete results,” Vienna police said in a statement, some six weeks after 130 people were killed in militant Islamist bombing and shooting attacks in Paris.

"In the lead-up to Christmas, a friendly intelligence service sent a warning to numerous European capitals saying potential bomb or gun attacks could take place in areas with large crowds between Christmas and New Year," the statement said.

The police asked Austrians for their understanding of the need for more security controls.

Extra steps include surveillance in crowded spaces, “especially at events and traffic hubs” as well as intensive identity checks and higher alertness for objects which could carry explosives such as bags or “bicycle frames”.

Vienna police were not immediately available for further comment.

In Germany, a spokesman for the interior ministry said it did not comment on particular situations for operational reasons.

“Germany is still in the crosshairs of jihadist terrorism,” he said, adding the country had reviewed and adapted its security measures, where necessary, following the Paris attacks.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)
 

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