The police in Vienna have warned that European cities face the very real possibility of a terrorist attack during the New Year celebrations.
As a result of credible intelligence, police forces across Europe are ramping up their security measures for the New Year.
“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.
“In the days before Christmas a warning was sent out by a friendly (intelligence) service to numerous European capitals, saying that it could come to an attack involving explosives or a shooting between Christmas and the New Year in crowded spaces,” the statement said.
Vienna police were not immediately available for further comment.
The warning from the intelligence service, which the statement did not name, pointed to a higher threat level than “the general abstract” level cited earlier, Vienna police said, asking Austrians for their understanding for more controls.
Extra security 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”, it said.