Germany received a tip hours before midnight that militants from Iraq and Syria were planning New Year attacks in Munich but police could not find the suspects and are not even sure if they exist or are in the country, the city’s police chief said on Friday.
Hubertus Andrae told a news conference that German officials had received a “very concrete” tip that suicide attacks were planned on New Year’s Eve at two train stations.
Police closed the central and Pasing stations about an hour before midnight, and reopened them hours later.
“We received names. We can’t say if they are in Munich or in fact in Germany,” Andrae said.
“At this point we don’t know if these names are correct, if these people even exist, or where they might be. If we knew this we would be a clear step further. We have no information that these people are in Munich or in Germany,” he added.
The alarm came as Europe entered the New Year under a state of heightened alert, seven weeks after Islamist militants killed 130 people in shootings and suicide blasts across Paris.
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the Munich tip, which media reports said came from French intelligence, indicated that the Islamic State militant group was behind the planned operation.
Herrmann told reporters later on Friday that the police presence at the train stations had been reduced.
“We all know that there is a high risk of attacks in Europe and also here in Germany and Bavaria. But we don’t…