German police have foiled a plot by six Syrian men linked with the Islamic State to launch a coordinated attack on a Christmas market on the first anniversary of a deadly truck rampage in Berlin.
The German authorities apprehended the ISIS plotters during raids in the towns of Essen, Hannover, Kassel, and Leipzig. The six suspects, whose names have been withheld under the country's privacy laws, were identified as Syrians who entered the country seeking asylum from December 2014 to September 2015, the Daily Mail detailed.
Police reportedly acted on a tip given by refugees in Germany who heard about the planned Christmas attack that involved explosives. There were also unconfirmed reports that the plotters may have been targeting a Christmas market in Essen on Dec. 19.
After Tunisian ISIS fanatic Anis Amri killed 12 Christmas revelers at Breitscheidplatz last year, Germany has been on alert. In fact, authorities have already installed concrete blocks around Christmas markets in several locations ahead of the holiday season.
In the U.K., the terror attacks in London and Manchester earlier this year have sparked warnings to tighten security. Birmingham Council has been the first to ramp up its security, with armed police keeping watch over the area and conducting bag searches, The Daily Star reported.
The Local Government Association had advised councils on how to guard areas that could be targeted by terrorists. Ahead of the Christmas rush in the U.K, "ring of steel" barriers were installed in the city centre to ensure the safety of visitors. The Council, however, clarified that the additional security measures at key locations were not based on new intelligence.
Moreover, the Met Police announced that there will be additional security for the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and other similar events. A police spokesperson also said there could be added security checks and advised the public to arrive ahead of time at the venues of the events they are attending.