Munich lifts alert after New Year terror threat

Police at Munich's main railway station on New Year's Eve. Officials had been tipped off about an ISIS plot to strike the city.
Police at Munich's main railway station on New Year's Eve. Officials had been tipped off about an ISIS plot to strike the city.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MUNICH • German police yesterday lifted an alert of an imminent attack in Munich, hours after evacuating two key train stations over fears that militants were planning a New Year suicide bomb assault.

Officials had said they were tipped off about a plot by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to strike the southern German city shortly before midnight, as Europe prepared to ring in the new year in an atmosphere of unprecedented security.

European capitals have been on high alert since November, when ISIS militants killed 130 people in a series of attacks in Paris, stoking fears of further attacks over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

But German investigators, acting on information from a foreign intelligence service, said they have not substantiated the threat.

"Overall, I would say that the situation for Munich is as it was before this threat of attack," Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said yesterday.

He said investigators had the names of some of the "five to seven" suspects allegedly planning to blow themselves up at locations including Munich's main rail hub and Pasing station, but do not have evidence.

"We have examined data relating to these names, but at the moment, we do not know if these names are correct, whether these people exist and where they are," he said, adding that the suspects are allegedly from Iraq and Syria.

A large deployment of 550 officers overnight has been cut to 100, and Mr Andrae urged the public to "live as you did before".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2016, with the headline 'Munich lifts alert after New Year terror threat'. Print Edition | Subscribe