“Major risk of attack”: EU raises alarm for churches and markets

On the one hand, the war between Israel and Hamas, on the other hand, the upcoming Christmas holiday and large gatherings in markets and churches. A combination of factors that have raised alarm throughout Europe, especially after the Brussels and Paris cases: “We face a high risk of terrorism,” EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson warned.

Last Saturday, in the French capital, a man of Iranian origin stabbed three passers-by near the Eiffel Tower, killing a German tourist and wounding two others. About a month and a half ago, another attack in Brussels shocked the European public: a Tunisian citizen opened fire on two Swedish fans before the start of the next European football championship qualifying match. In both cases, these would be the actions of “lone wolves” with psychiatric problems, acting alone, not affiliated with terrorist organizations. But it is precisely these profiles that worry intelligence services across the EU.

Horrific images circulating on social media for weeks showing civilian victims in Israel’s raids on the Gaza Strip to clear Hamas after the October 7 attack may ‘trigger’ new actions by lone wolves. “There is a major risk of a terrorist attack due to the war between Israel and Hamas and the gatherings that the upcoming Christmas holiday brings to our society,” Johansson said. The commissioner announced a prevention plan: “We will allocate a further 30 million euros for the protection of places of worship and other sensitive places such as Christmas markets, among others”.

The plan was presented to EU ministers at the Home Affairs Council meeting in Brussels. Issues at the core of the agency include the issue of security in the European Union, in light of the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, and progress on asylum and immigration reform.

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Source: Today IT