Increased Security Measures at Cologne Cathedral Following Attack Warning

In light of a possible attack plot, German authorities have taken steps to enhance security at Cologne Cathedral. Worshippers attending the Christmas Eve service were advised to arrive early and refrain from carrying large bags. Although the threats were believed to be targeting New Year’s Eve rather than Christmas, security measures were reinforced as a precautionary measure. European countries have been on heightened alert for potential attacks during the festive season. On Saturday evening, sniffer dogs were employed to search the cathedral, but no traces of explosives were discovered. Cologne police chief, Michael Esser asserted that every possible measure is being taken to safeguard the visitors. Besides Germany, Austria and Spain have also expressed concerns over radical Islamists planning attacks around Christmas or New Year. Notably, four individuals were apprehended in Austria on Saturday on suspected links to an Islamist cell, although their connection to the alleged plot in Cologne remains unclear. Vienna’s St Stephen’s Cathedral saw the deployment of numerous police officers, but there was no immediate threat reported in the area, according to the interior ministry. Earlier this month, seven individuals were detained in Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands over suspicions of planning attacks. The European Home Affairs Commission, Ylva Johansson, issued a statement on 5th December, warning the EU about the “huge risk of terrorist attacks” during the holiday season.