Europe review: night stands against terror attacks

Meanwhile the Austrian Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said his country must prepare for a diplomatic escalation with China over the South China Sea

On August 29, 2016, Austria imposed a lockdown on the international airport in Innsbruck after receiving a threat from Isis militants of a possible suicide bomber attack on Christmas. The airport was uncluttered for a night as well as for the next day as Austria sought to enhance security for the holiday season.

Not only was the threat credible, but Austria had considered to be an apt time to reinforce the already heightened European security efforts after the Paris attacks. Austria’s Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said Innsbruck would be “strategically the first location” of the threat.

Shortly after the terror threat, European airports became the second front in a global face-off between terrorists and aviation security. In subsequent days, targeted attacks were planned in Paris, Brussels, Malta, Djibouti, Marseille, and the Crimea.

After two months of rigorous reconnaissance, Austria dismantled the sleeper cells operating in Innsbruck and passed the terrorist suspects to Belgium, where they were arrested.

On August 26, 2017, Austria, responding to the crisis around its national elections, declared it would ban political rallies by the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe) and criminalise its vocal supporters.

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