sabato 11 marzo 2017
Police have shut down a shopping center in the western German city of Essen, citing “reliable tip-offs” warning of an imminent terrorist attack, according to local media. “The current state of our investigation points to the threat being exclusively at the shopping center,” local police said in a statement........
Police have shut down a shopping center in the western German city of Essen, citing “reliable tip-offs” warning of an imminent terrorist attack, according to local media.
“The current state of our investigation points to the threat being exclusively at the shopping center,” local police said in a statement.
The nature of the threat to the shopping center located at Limbecker Platz in downtown Essen was not elaborated upon.
The attack was supposed to involve “several suicide bombers,” Bild magazine reported later in the day, citing intelligence sources. The terrorist suspects’ names were not known, and it is still unclear whether they actually exist, the report noted.
While the threat apparently concerns only the shopping center, the adjacent roads and entrances to the building have been blocked.
“Police are now intensively trying to clarify the nature of the threat using numerous specialists. Ongoing investigations currently prohibit the disclosure of further details due to the ongoing investigation,” they added.
While the police did not use the phrase “terrorist attack threat” in their statement, local media such as Spiegel or Die Weltare describing it as such.
The closure will last all day. The shopping center wrote on its Facebook page that the measure is necessary to “foil possible threats to our visitors.”
The sizable shopping center at Limbecker Platz accommodates some 170 shops and dining outlets, servicing around 60,000 visitors per day, according to N-TV.
Security has been tight in Germany since a string of lone-wolf terror attacks hit the country last year. A Syrian refugee detonated an explosive device outside a music festival in the town of Ansbach last July, killing himself and injuring 12 others. There has also been an axe assault and a shooting spree, as well as a truck attack that took place in Berlin last December.
In early March, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Hans-Georg Maassen, said that Islamists could carry out terrorist attacks at any time, warning that “the potential of violence-oriented Islamists in Germany is growing steadily and will continue to increase.” He also stressed that “the high level of hazards for Germany and its interests from Islamist terrorism” remains unchanged.