European capitals warned of attack

A man jogging past a police car parked in front of the parliament building in Vienna, Austria, on Dec 27, 2015.
A man jogging past a police car parked in front of the parliament building in Vienna, Austria, on Dec 27, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

VIENNA • Austrian police said a "friendly" intelligence service had warned European capitals of the possibility of a shooting or bomb attack before the New Year, prompting police across the continent to increase security measures.

"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 on Saturday in a statement, which comes about six weeks after 130 people were killed in bombing and shooting attacks in Paris.

"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."

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.

A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry said it did not comment on particular situations for operational reasons, but added that the country had reviewed its security measures following the Paris attacks.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2015, with the headline 'European capitals warned of attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe