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Rediff.com  » Sports » Germany warns of terrorist threat ahead at EURO 2024

Germany warns of terrorist threat ahead at EURO 2024

June 13, 2024 19:59 IST
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Germany expects 2.7 million people to attend matches in stadiums across the country and some 12 million in its fan zones for outdoor viewing, including on a long stretch of turf laid out in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

Police patrols at the official Fan Mile on 17th June Street, close to the Brandenburg Gate, during its pre-opening in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, ahead of EURO 2024 

IMAGE: Police patrols at the official Fan Mile on 17th June Street, close to the Brandenburg Gate, during its pre-opening in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday, ahead of EURO 2024. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Germany welcomed police officers from across Europe on Thursday to bolster its defences against potential threats at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament, with Interior Minister Nancy Faeser promising vigilance on the eve of the opening match.

"Our focus of course is above all on the threat of Islamist terrorism, hooligans and their offences, everyday crime, violent criminals, but this time also on cyber attacks," Faeser said at a ceremony for around 350 foreign police officers dispatched for the event.

 

Groups such as the Islamic State have already called for attacks at the month-long tournament, which begins with the host country's Group A opener against Scotland on Friday.

"Our security authorities therefore have the Islamist scene firmly in their sights," Faeser said, while adding that authorities were not currently aware of any specific plots.

Germany expects 2.7 million people to attend matches in stadiums across the country and some 12 million in its fan zones for outdoor viewing, including on a long stretch of turf laid out in front of Berlin's Brandenburg Gate.

The fan zones were popular during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but it remains to be seen whether the public mood at this event can rise above simmering tensions at a time of conflict in Ukraine and the Middle East, and as the far right sees its support surge in Europe.

"Some people are trying to bring these conflicts into our country," the minister warned, adding that propaganda and hate speech on German streets would not be tolerated.

Some 22,000 police officers will be working each day at the tournament.

German security authorities are also working with international partners to identify potential threats and the country has ramped up its border controls.

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Source: REUTERS
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