NewsIslamist threat on Cologne cathedral prompts global security alert ahead of holiday season

Islamist threat on Cologne cathedral prompts global security alert ahead of holiday season

Islamist threat on Cologne cathedral prompts global security alert ahead of holiday season
Images source: © PAP | Sascha Thelen

4:11 AM EST, December 24, 2023

The authorities have yet to disclose specific details about the warning, simply assuring that the Cologne city police will implement "all special protective measures".

"Following the evening mass, search dogs were deployed within the premises, and visitors will undergo screening prior to entering the church", Chief of Police Michael Esser informed reporters.

Alerts Raised in Multiple Countries

The German newspaper "Bild" disclosed that authorities in Austria, Germany, and Spain received intel that the "Islamist group aims to orchestrate attacks during the Christmas and New Year festivities".

In recent weeks, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser highlighted the escalating threat of Islamist violence in Germany and other parts of Europe. This concern is in correlation with the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which may be sparking an increase in radicalization.

In a statement issued by Austrian police, it was conveyed that due to the heightened state of emergency, safety measures have been increased in churches and Christmas markets.

"Given that terrorists throughout Europe are urging attacks on Christian events, especially around December 24, security authorities have enacted appropriate protective measures in public spaces," stated the police force.

Earlier in December, the Spanish Ministry of Interior announced plans to intensify security measures from December 18 in light of Christmas festivities, implementing a level 4 anti-terrorist alert, synonymous with a "high risk". This security level has been maintained since June 2015.

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