Security measures increase for New Year’s Eve celebrations

As New Year’s Eve celebrations start to ramp up Thursday night across the globe to ring in 2016, an increase in police presence and security measures will also be taking effect.

In the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bulletin dated Dec. 16 which stated, “We are in a new phase in the global threat environment . . . Particularly with the rise in use by terrorist groups of the Internet to inspire and recruit, we are concerned about the ‘self-radicalized’ actor(s) who could strike with little or no notice.”

The DHS bulletin continued, “Though we know of no intelligence that is both specific and credible at this time of a plot by terrorist organizations to attack the homeland, the reality is terrorist-inspired individuals have conducted, or attempted to conduct, attacks in the United States this year . . . The public should expect an increased presence of law enforcement across communities in the weeks ahead.

Police officials in New York City, for example, have announced that Times Square in mid-town Manhattan will be secured by 6,000 city officers, rooftop snipers, canine units, and water and air patrols.

New Year’s celebration sites in Washington and Las Vegas are also expected to see an increase in security measures compared to years past.

In Europe, the capital cities of Paris and Brussels have gone as far to cancel their New Year’s Eve festivities, an area of the Western Hemisphere which is suspected of having a greater concentration of terrorist cells.

London is continuing with their celebration plans however, with increased security, although with less full-time officers on duty than last year.  Instead, U.K.’s capital will see an increased presence of civilian law enforcement personnel Thursday evening.

In response to the attack on Paris in November, British Prime Minister David Cameron said that the threat of terrorism is “very real,” and that the strategy must not be to “sit back and wait for (ISIS) to attack us.”

Cameron’s point was highlighted Wednesday, as two ISIS suspects were arrested in Ankara for allegedly planning to bomb the Turkish capital on New Year’s Eve.

Back in the United States, college bowl games will be subject to stricter security measures: attendees at the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl in Miami and Arlington, Texas, on Thursday, and Rose Bowl on Friday in Pasadena, Calif., will be restricted from bringing anything but clear, plastic bags into the stadium.


[USA Today] [RT]