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US military bases in Europe are increasing preparedness in case of possible terrorist attacks

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jul2,2024

U.S. military bases in Europe on heightened alert for possible terrorist attacks

Photo: The main entrance to a U.S. Army barracks in Stuttgart, Germany

U.S. military bases and personnel across Europe have been placed on heightened alert after receiving intelligence of a possible terrorist attack against the facilities or personnel.

A U.S. defense official confirmed to Voice of America on Monday, July 1, that military installations in the European Command area of ​​responsibility have been placed on “Charlie” alert, meaning an attack of any kind is likely.

The official did not elaborate on the content of the intelligence that led to the changes. But counterterrorism officials from several countries have warned of an increased threat, including from the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The military is “taking additional steps” according to a U.S. official. to ensure that [American service members] remain vigilant both on and off duty.”

The second U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, stressed that the reason for the increased alert level was the overall threat picture, not individual intelligence.

"Any specific or There is no immediate threat to American forces in Europe. This step was taken as a precaution,”– the official told Voice of America.

A European Command statement issued Monday also noted that the increased security measures were taken due to a combination of factors.

"Our increased vigilance is not related to any one threat, but due to a combination of factors, such as ongoing and upcoming major public forums, including the European Football Championship and the Olympic Games"– says the statement.

"[European Command] encourages personnel in the European theater to maintain constant vigilance, including reporting suspicious activity, monitoring State Department travel advisories, and taking prudent steps to reduce personal risks,"– the document says.

Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future warned in a report that while the risk of cyber attacks is high, the biggest threat to the Paris Olympics remains the possibility of terrorist attacks.

< p>French authorities have already foiled at least two separate terror plots. In one case, an 18-year-old suspect was charged with planning to attack an Olympic stadium on behalf of the Islamic State.

Top U.S. counterterrorism officials have also acknowledged that the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group is gaining momentum.

The group's affiliate in Afghanistan, ISIS-Khorasan, is a major concern.

"ISIS and ISIS-Khorasan have demonstrated the capabilities and intentions to conduct external operations,"– said White House Deputy National Security Adviser Jen Daskal, speaking at a counterterrorism conference in Omaha, Nebraska, last week.

National Counterterrorism Center Director Christine Abizaid also warned about the "ISIS- Khorasan” in May.

"The ability of the global ISIS group, even though it does not have a strong territorial presence, to be able to virtually reach out to a network of supporters, some of whom are planning to carry out attacks, raises serious concerns,",– she said at a security conference in Doha.

Abizaid also called the possibility of "IS-Khorasan" rebuild in Afghanistan, "probably the most significant addition to the capabilities of ISIS's global network… over the past three years.”

IS-Khorasan group claimed responsibility for an attack on a memorial service in Kerman, Iran, that killed about 90 people, and for a March attack on a concert hall outside Moscow that killed more than 140 people.

U.S. terrorism expressed concern that the IS-Khorasan group began to skillfully use transnational criminal networks and groups involved in human trafficking, hatching plans to transfer their militants to the United States.

Prepared by: Sergey Daga

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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