Police in the western German city of Essen sealed off a shopping centre in the centre of town and ordered it to remain closed on Saturday due to concrete indications of a possible attack. Germany is on high alert following major radical Islamist attacks in France and Belgium and after a failed asylum seeker from Tunisia drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in December, killing 12 people.
Yesterday we received very serious indications from security sources that a possible attack was planned here for today and would be carried out.
Spokesman for Essen police
Earlier, a police spokesman told a German broadcaster that they had viewed the threat as a possible “terrorist” attack. Armed police and vans surrounded the shopping centre, one of Germany’s biggest with more than 200 retail outlets, but roads nearby were open to traffic.