Homeland Security Network Blog
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RING OF STEEL: Extra security for Germany’s Christmas markets amid terror fears
GERMANY’S Christmas markets are to be protected by a “ring of steel” amid fears they could once again be the target of terrorist attacks.
By Rebecca Pinnington
A terrorist sworn to the so-called Islamic State killed 12 people when he drove a lorry into a Christmas market in central Berlin in December 2016.
Tight security measures are designed to prevent a repeat of the devastating attack in the German capital this year.
In Bochum, western Germany, organisers decorated concrete bollards blocking out pedestrianised areas, wrapping them up as Christmas presents with bows to make them look more festive.
Meanwhile at other markets, there were security staff patrolling the market, and concrete barriers to protect shoppers from a copycat attack after the tragedy in Berlin last year.
Germany boasts some 2,600 Christmas markets, which are famous around the world for their stalls selling candied nuts, sausages, mulled wine and local handicrafts.
They are beloved by Germans and many of the markets are huge tourist destinations for those wanting a festive holiday.
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller admitted new measures could not guarantee total security but said: “What could be done was done.”
Klaus Schultheis, a Christmas market expert who collects data on the annual festivities, said only two markets nationally had been cancelled due to security concerns.