As Christmas and New Year celebrations are just around the corner, security level has been raised up in many countries on high alert of anti-terrorism.
Cities across the United States are tightening security over the holiday season. There’s heightened security in New York City as authorities are deploying special explosive detection K-9 teams, radiation detection devices and hundreds of additional security personnel.
Authorities are taking extra precautions in Washington D.C. after an Islamic State group released posters showing the famed Washington National Cathedral on fire.
In Las Vegas in the western U.S. state of Nevada, the city is installing 800 safety posts on the strip to stop potential vehicle attacks, and deploying a record number of Nevada Guard soldiers.
While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said there are no credible threats at this time, it urged Americans to stay alert during the holidays.
The European continent has also been vigilant after a terrorist killed 12 people by driving a truck into crowds at a Christmas market in the German capital of Berlin in December in 2016.
This year, Germany’s Christmas markets opened with concrete barriers being placed to protect shoppers under tighter-than-usual security measures.
Italy’s Interior Ministry has ordered all law enforcement authorities to step up controls in public areas where crowds are likely to gather, such as squares, churches, monuments, and open-air markets.
Authorities are also intensifying checks at airports, ports, railway stations, highways, and collective means of transportation. As well, the committee extended to Dec. 31, 2019 the so-called Safe Streets Operation, in which 7,050 military troops are deployed at embassies, monuments, major stations, and other possible terrorist targets throughout Italy.
Austria has found a creative way to boost security measures at the well-known Christkindlmarkt Christmas market, including using concrete blocks disguised as Christmas presents, as well as a massive police presence that covers almost all entrances to the market.
Other countries which are victims of terrorist attacks have also been setting alarms for the upcoming yuletide season.
Security chiefs in Nigeria have placed all their personnel on full alerts in the event of any emergency situation during the Christmas holiday season.
Rebel attacks in recent years have overshadowed the festive season in the West African country. And the Nigerian Army has called on people who reside in the restive northeast region to be security vigilant and guard against suicide bomb attack by Boko Haram insurgents.
Egypt has also made an announcement to raise the security level to the highest around churches ahead of Christmas to prevent terror attacks.
Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar instructed in a meeting with his security assistants to beef up security in the surroundings of churches and vital state facilities. And more security patrols will be deployed to the streets.
In Asia, Indonesian police have launched an anti-terror operation called “Candle Operation” to ensure the safety of the coming Christmas and New Year holidays.
The operation aims to prevent possible terror attacks during the holiday season since the country was hit by church bombings in several cities on the Christmas eve in the year 2000.
Terrorism has been rampant for years worldwide. Festival celebrations which usually gather large crowds of people have always been major targets of terrorist attacks worldwide.