Four were arrested for terrorist plots in Austria. The arrest comes just half a day after terrorist threats were made against Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
The short version
- Four people were arrested on charges of planning terrorist plots in Austria. Additional security measures are being implemented at Christmas.
The summary has been prepared with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and quality guaranteed by Aftenposten journalists.
Police in many European cities have warned of an increase in terrorist preparations during Christmas and Christmas.
Austrian authorities reported that four people were arrested in connection with an investigation into an Islamist network in Austria.
The Directorate of Security and Intelligence of the Austrian Ministry of the Interior announced on Sunday that the interrogation of the suspects was continuing.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the security situation in Austria and Europe as a whole is tense. Police in Vienna said on Saturday that extra precautions had been taken over the Christmas holidays.
He receives constant information from Europe
Trond Hogobakken is Director of Communications at the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST). He told Aftenposten on Sunday that PST receives constant information from colleagues in Europe.
We have very good cooperation with European security services and receive continuous information from them. “We are aware of what they are doing and we have a good basis for evaluating what this information means for Norway,” says Hogobakken.
He adds that recent information about indicators of terrorist attacks on the occasion of Christmas and New Year in many European countries will not change the level of the terrorist threat in Norway.
-We have a moderate terrorist threat level in Norway. There have been no changes since the terrorist threat level was last updated at the beginning of November. We have no indication that anyone is planning any terrorist act in connection with Christmas, Hogobakin says.
According to Hogobaken, the moderate terrorist threat level means it is unlikely that there will be a terrorist attack in Norway. However, there is a growing terrorist profile against Jewish and Israeli interests in Norway following the war in the Middle East.
Provides information to police areas
The moderate terrorist threat level is explained this way on the PST websites: “One or more actors may have the capacity and desire to carry out terrorist acts in Norway.”
– This is a general assessment, not just a Christmas assessment, Hogobakin emphasizes.
He adds that PST works every day on this matter and continuously evaluates relevant information that forms the basis of the terrorist threat level in Norway.
-We monitor this every day and send relevant information to the police districts. It is then up to the police districts how to deal with the information and the situations associated with it.
Explosive dogs in Cologne Cathedral
A large force of police and bomb dogs were present on Saturday night in the famous Cologne Cathedral and the surrounding area.
– After the evening Mass, the cathedral was searched with explosive dogs and then closed, Cologne Criminal Police Chief Michael Ise said in a press release.
According to many German media, the background to the action is that the security services of several countries have been warned that an Islamic terrorist cell is planning attacks in Europe on Christmas.
St. Stephen's Cathedral in the Austrian capital, Vienna, is said to have been among the potential targets. Police in Cologne and Vienna have increased security levels to deal with the threat that may be linked to the ISIS terrorist organization.
“As terrorist-related actors across Europe called for attacks on Christian events – especially around 24 December – the security authorities took the necessary measures,” a press release from police in Vienna said.
Police in Cologne say churchgoers and other visitors during Christmas and Christmas Eve will undergo a security check before being allowed into the cathedral.
Spanish police will also participate in the investigation.
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