Austria – Officers conducted searches of several buildings in Klagenfurt, the capital of Carinthia province in southern Austria - close to the border with Slovenia - after receiving the tip off on the 18 Nov 16. The anonymous caller said more than one explosive device had been planted around the city. It was not immediately clear if the call was a hoax and which individual or group made the call. Police received the tip-off at 1000 hrs local time on 18 Nov 16 and dispatched undercover officers to the locations named in the threat. However they said no evacuations were needed and while searches were ongoing an hour later, nothing had so far been found.
France – A terror plot has been foiled in France after police made a series of arrests amid fears of an attack on a Christmas market. Officers detained seven people of French, Moroccan and Afghan origin in Marseille and in the eastern city of Strasbourg overnight on the 19/20 Nov 16. The arrests were made days before the start of one of the world's oldest and largest Christmas markets. The city has been on high alert ahead of the opening, with local officials warning it could be suspended or cancelled if there were serious threats. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the raids were linked to a series of arrests in June during the European Championships that was held in cities across France. Five suspects have been arrested in Strasbourg and two in Marseille and police say they were all aged from 29 to 37 years of age. The raids in Strasbourg reportedly took place in the Neuhof and Meinau neighbourhoods, where authorities dismantled a jihadi network in 2014 that included the brother of an ISIS bomber who attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris last year. 'Serious information made these arrests necessary,' one source said. Cazeneuve, who did not reveal the target of the alleged plot, said six of those arrested hadn't been known to intelligence services, and one was a Moroccan who had been flagged to France by a foreign government. He said the arrests prevented 'a terrorist act that had been envisaged for a long time.' The arrests came five days before the opening of the famed Christmas market in Strasbourg, which attracts tourists from across Europe and was the target of a failed extremist plot in 2000. Cazeneuve said 43 people have been arrested in Nov 16 alone as part of anti-terror operations following deadly Islamic State attacks on France over the past two years. France remains in a state of emergency a year after attacks by ISIS jihadists on Paris which left 130 people dead. Police have detained 418 people this year in terrorism investigations while 43 people have been arrested in November alone as part of anti-terror operations, Cazeneuve added.
Follow-on Report – On the 24 Nov 16 a British newspaper reported that ISIS fanatics were planning to target Disneyland and a Christmas market on the Champs-Elysees during a new attack on Paris during the week of the 27 Nov 16 to the 4 Dec 16, police have revealed. Jihadists were plotting to strike on December 1 and had also researched sites including a police headquarters, Metro station and city centre cafes. Seven suspects were arrested in police raids in the eastern city of Strasbourg and Marseille in the south following an eight-month investigation by security services, although two were later released. Some had made internet searches on sites including the Christmas market on the prestigious Champs-Elysees avenue, the Disneyland Paris theme park, cafe terraces in the northeast of the capital, the Paris criminal police headquarters and a metro station, a police source said. Five of the suspects have had their custody extended under legislation covering investigations into an imminent terror attack. One of the men is said to have told investigators that attacks were planned and named the police headquarters in central Paris and the DGSI domestic security department in the northwest of the city as targets. Some members of the group are thought to have taken orders from a Syria-based jihadist. Two handguns, an automatic pistol, a submachine gun and jihadist propaganda were all found during the raids in which they were arrested.
Kosovo/Da’esh – Kosovo police say they prevented three simultaneous attacks by ISIS fanatics, including one on the Israeli national football team, which played a World Cup qualifier in neighbouring Albania on the 12 Nov 16. Officials said in a statement on the 17 Nov 16 that 18 people were arrested in Kosovo and six more in Albania or Macedonia. At the suspects' homes and premises police found explosive devices, weapons and electronic equipment. The groups in the three countries, coordinated by two Albanians who are part of the IS terror group in Syria, had 'clear targets on who and when should be attacked', police said. The venue of last weekend's qualifier between Israel and Albania was changed for 'security reasons' from the northern city of Shkoder, near the border with Montenegro, to Elbasan, much nearer to the capital Tirana. Police and the Kosovo Intelligence Agency believe attacks were planned across the Balkans. Police have said the terror suspects were in contact with ISIS figure Lavdrim Muhaxheri, the self-declared 'commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq'. He is believed to have given orders for them to attack. Police have yet to release any further information about the foiled attacks.
Netherlands – The counterterrorism coordinator for the Netherlands has estimated that the Islamic State (IS) extremist organization has between 60 and 80 operatives in place in Europe to prepare and execute terrorist attacks. In an exclusive interview with AP on the 19 Nov 16 Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof said IS has been telling supporters in Europe "not to come to Syria, but to prepare attacks in Europe." He said that Europe has succeeded in reducing the number of would-be IS fighters travelling to the Middle East in recent years, but this "does not mean that the potential threat of those who would have travelled is diminished."Moreover, he warned that successes in rooting out IS fighters in Iraq and Syria are scattering the militants all over the world. He estimated that there are between 4,000 and 5,000 Europeans currently fighting with IS in those two countries.