Media: Islamists Plan Attack on Cologne Cathedral

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.23 - 2023 10:20 PM CET

Photo: Wikimedi Commons
Photo: Wikimedi Commons
Police in both Cologne and Vienna have increased security at Christmas services. Austrian police see an elevated risk.

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Police in Germany, Austria, and Spain have received information that an Islamist terror cell may be planning several attacks in Europe during Christmas and New Year. This was reported by the German newspaper Bild.

The news agency dpa learns that an Islamist group may have planned an attack on the Cologne Cathedral.

German police are present at the Cologne Cathedral on Saturday evening with bomb-sniffing dogs, writes Bild. The Cathedral will be thoroughly searched with dogs, and then it will be locked, according to the police as reported by the newspaper.

"Tomorrow, all visitors will be screened before they enter the church," says Cologne's police chief, Michael Esser.

A church in Austria's capital, Vienna, may also be a target, according to dpa. Here, police special forces have made arrests, writes Bild.

According to the newspaper, the attack plans are also believed to have included a Christmas service in the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Police in both Cologne and Vienna announced earlier on Saturday evening that they have increased security measures due to a possible threat, writes dpa.

"Due to a current threat assessment from the intelligence service and the continued elevated level of terror alert, there is generally an increased risk in Austria during the Christmas holidays," the police in Vienna announced on Saturday evening, according to Bild.