Two train stations in Munich, Germany’s third biggest city, were shut down and evacuated over a feared ISIS terror attack on New Year’s Eve.
As residents of the German city of Munich prepared to celebrate New Year’s Eve, police received concrete threats of a possible terror attack that night, reportedly connected to ISIS.
Citing concern over news of the possible ISIS terror threat, received a short time before the celebrations were to begin, police immediately evacuated the main central train station in Munich along with a smaller commuter station eight kilometers away in the district of Pasing.
Munich is the capital of the German state of Bavaria and the large, central train station was the arrival point of many of the recent Syrian refugees arriving from Austria.
— CNN International (@cnni) January 1, 2016
According to Munich police, officials deemed the information about a possible ISIS terror threat to be both serious and credible, saying they had “concrete information that strongly indicates that there are possible plans for terror attacks in Munich, specifically against the main train station and the railway station in (the western district of) Pasing.”
Reportedly, additional officers were enlisted in the search for possible suspects.
According to CNN, Joachim Herrman of the Bavarian Interior Ministry said they reported details of the plot and its connection to ISIS to Munich police.
Speaking of the possible New Year’s Eve ISIS terror attack, Herrman told the media, “The threat very specifically referred to midnight and to these two places.”
“I believe this decision was right because I think we cannot take unnecessary risks when we are dealing with such concrete threats, concrete locations, and a concrete time.”
Hubertus Andrä, head of the Munich police, told journalists that between five and seven alleged ISIS terrorists were planning suicide attacks on New Year’s Eve, saying that the “concrete tip” came from one source.
According to the Irish Times, while police didn’t mention the country the tip came from, reportedly German TV mentioned in an unsourced report that it came from France. After receiving news of the possible ISIS terror threat, police requested in a tweet that the Munich public avoid large gatherings in the city.
There is the danger of an attack in the area of munich, please keep away from crowds, avoid the central station and the rail station pasing.
— Polizei München (@PolizeiMuenchen) December 31, 2015
However according to a later tweet from the Munich police, both train stations were opened early Friday with a continued police presence.
#Munich Central Station and the railway station Pasing are meanwhile open again. We will remain on site and keep our eyes open.
— Polizei München (@PolizeiMuenchen) January 1, 2016
The whole of Europe has been on edge following the November 13 Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people and injured many more. In recent weeks, suspected ISIS terrorists have been arrested in Austria, Belgium, France, and other European countries.
— ST Foreign Desk (@STForeignDesk) January 1, 2016
With memories of the recent ISIS terror attacks in France, residents of Paris saw soldiers out on the streets, and Berlin, Istanbul, London, and Madrid also had a heightened presence of police in the streets as the people of Europe turned out to celebrate the arrival of 2016.
In Paris, French president Francois Hollande said in his New Year’s message that France is “not finished with terrorism,” using his message to defend controversial plans to strip those convicted of terrorism offenses of their citizenship.
“The threat is still there.”
“It remains in fact at its highest level, and we are regularly disrupting planned attacks.”
Police in Belgium were holding three suspects for questioning Thursday as part of the threat of an alleged ISIS terror plot in Brussels on New Year’s Eve. Initially police detained six suspects, but three were released late on Thursday.
Meanwhile in New York City, the NYPD reportedly also tightened security for the traditional New Year’s Eve dropping of the famed crystal ball in Times Square, which saw around a million people celebrating the arrival of the New Year.