Police in Munich are hunting up to seven suspects, thought to be of Syrian or Iraqi origin, after a terror plot engineered to wreak havoc during New Year's Eve celebrations was foiled by security services. Addressing a news conference Hubertus Andrae, the police chief for the city that is slowly returning to normality following the tip-off, said: "We received names. We can't say if they are in Munich or in fact in Germany."
Andrae added that "five to seven" suspects could have been involved in the plot. Munich's police force is understood to have some names of potential suspects that are being checked against government databases. However, the suspects could have already left Germany, after a suicide plot due to coincide with one of the biggest celebratory events of the year in the German calendar was stopped.
Last night Munich's Central Station and also the suburban station of Pasing to the west of the city, were closed following the "concrete" tip-off of an attack, thought to have come from another country's security service – expected to be the French – as part of a cross-border partnership. The stations have since reopened but an estimated 550 police, some heavily armed, are still patrolling the streets of Munich.
The interior minister for Bavaria Joachim Herrmann has insisted that the closure of the stations were the "right decision" for the safety of the public as warning of a "specific place and timing" had been received.
Rail services at two of Munich's stations were suspended at 10.30pm last night and Munich Police took to its Twitter account to warn the city's population of the high risk of an imminent terror attack. It said: "There is the danger of an attack in the area of Munich, please keep away from crowds, avoid the Central Station and the rail station Pasing."
Europe is still under high alert from the threat of terrorism from Islamic State (Isis) militants following the atrocities committed in Paris in which 130 people died in and assault from nine militants who took to the streets with suicide belts and semi-automatic weapons. Yesterday, three people were detained in connection with an alleged plot to target Brussels on New Year's Eve and a man was charged in New York in a plot to kill "non-Muslims" in a planned machete attack at a diner.
UK police numbers were boosted last night as part of the heightened threat level. Around 3,000 officers took to the streets last night to marshal New Year's Eve crowds and provide extra security.