Red alert on New Year's Eve

Indonesian police bomb squad members checking a cathedral prior to the Christmas eve mass as a security precaution, in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on Dec 24, 2016.
Indonesian police bomb squad members checking a cathedral prior to the Christmas eve mass as a security precaution, in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, on Dec 24, 2016.PHOTO: EPA

Asia: Police leave nothing to chance


Members of the Indonesian Presidential Security Forces (Paspampres) show their skills during the simulation of a terrorist attack in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec 29, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

Revellers in Asian cities will be partying tonight under the watchful eyes of their police and military.

Indonesia, which has been on an offensive against suspected terrorists, is leaving nothing to chance after a series of bloody raids around the country in the past month.

Police spokesman Martinus Sitompul said yesterday that security is always stepped up during the festive season. "But this time around, it is special because we have had a record number of terrorist raids during the immediate period leading to the 2017 New Year's Eve celebration," he told reporters at a media briefing.

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US: Preventing truck attacks with a cordon of trucks


New York counter-terrorism police officers on patrol in Times Square on Thursday, where more than a million people are expected to gather for tonight's countdown party. PHOTO: REUTERS

US police are using a new tactic in the wake of recent terror attacks involving trucks in Nice and Berlin - big trucks in a protective ring.

A cordon of water trucks will be placed around Pasadena's Rose Parade in California. In New York, more than 100 garbage trucks and other vehicles, many filled with sand, will form a protective barrier around Times Square, where well over a million people are expected to gather for a traditional countdown party tonight.

There will be strict controls including personal searches at all entry points, and 7,000 police officers are on standby.

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Europe: Armed police, barricades and bans to deter threats


Security at tourist sites, such as the Colosseum in Rome, is being stepped up during the festive period. Countries across Europe are on high alert to protect revellers as they count down to the new year. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

European countries are sending out their police and military forces to make sure that New Year's Day is welcomed without a hitch.

With countries like Britain, France, Belgium and Germany all on high alert for terror threats, security agencies are pulling out all the stops to protect revellers as they count down to the new year.

On Tuesday, French police arrested a man in the south-west of the country who was suspected of planning an attack on New Year's Eve.

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Australia: Heightened security after recent anti-terror arrests


A security guard (right) patrols the area outside the Opera House in Sydney on Dec 23, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

The police plan to deploy thousands of extra officers across Sydney and Melbourne for this year's New Year's Eve celebrations as well as water and air patrols, as part of heightened security measures following two recent terrorist threats.

The State Government of New South Wales (NSW) yesterday assured Sydney residents that the city is safe after a 40-year-old man was arrested by counter-terrorism police after he allegedly posted threats of potential attacks on New Year's Eve over social media. The man, from Sydney, is not believed to be linked to terror groups, but was arrested at Sydney airport after flying in from London.

With a record 1.5 million people expected to line Sydney's harbour foreshore for the city's famous fireworks display, police have added a range of security measures. Buses and garbage trucks will be used as barricades to prevent a terrorist driving through crowds.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2016, with the headline 'Red alert on New Year's Eve'. Print Edition | Subscribe