In France, more than 48,000 police officers have been deployed to targeted sites during the school holidays from Dec. 19 through Jan. 4. France has also announced plans to recruit 2,000 more police officers next month.
All across Europe, governments have placed their security personnel on high security alert in response to a “friendly” warning of a terror threat.
A number of major European cities are being targeted in possible attacks that would involve explosives and/or gunfire sometime between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1, according to a warning by an unnamed intelligence service, CNN reported.
The warning described by police in Vienna, Austria included the names of several possible attackers, according to a statement released Saturday.
Police did not name the cities that were warned by the “friendly intelligence service,” but said “this is a lead which stipulates a higher than general abstract state of danger.”
Vienna and other European police responded to the warning by beefing up surveillance at public venues, particularly at high-traffic areas and major events. In addition, Vienna police said in a statement they will be more thorough in security checks, and increase their attention to empty bags and suitcases.
On December 15, the European Commission presented a package of proposals to manage the EU’s external borders and protect the Schenge area. This move is aimed at “reinforcing security controls at the EU’s external borders“ while “improving the EU’s internal security,” according to a new policy statement by the European Commission.
“The European Border and Coast Guard will bring together a European Border and Coast Guard Agency built from Frontex and the Member States’ authorities responsible for border management, who will continue to exercise the day-to-day management of the external border,” the European Commission said in its statement.
“The Agency will [also] have a new mandate to send liaison officers to and launch joint operations with neighboring third countries, including operating on their territory,” according to the new policy.