And they win again……
Europe faced a new terror threat Tuesday, four days after devastating Islamic State attacks in Paris, when German officials evacuated a soccer stadium over an apparent plan to set off a powerful bomb.
Authorities in Hanover, Germany, abruptly called off a friendly soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands that Chancellor Angela Merkel had planned to attend to show resolve against terrorism and support for the victims of the Nov. 13 attacks that killed at least 129 people in Paris. One target of Friday’s attacks was a crowded soccer match at a stadium north of Paris.
Hanover Police Chief Volker Kluwe told local broadcaster NDR that officials received “a concrete tip that an explosives attack was planned against this international match in the stadium.” A high-level European security official said the evacuation, which took place shortly before the match was due to begin, was related to the Paris attacks.
The sudden appearance of another possible plot to wreak havoc at a crowded public event — the details of which were still emerging Tuesday evening — underscored the formidable challenge facing European nations as they seek to detect and prevent terrorist attacks.
In Brussels, a soccer match that was scheduled for Tuesday between Belgium and Spain was also canceled, and many fans expressed worry that the disruptions could threaten the European Cup next year.
The events in Germany took place as France unleashed a third night of intense airstrikes on Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria. French Defense Minister Yves LeDrian told TF1 television that 10 French fighter jets were launching attacks on the city, the Associated Press reported. Raqqa is that now the central target of the United States and allied countries seeking to dismantle the extremist group’s vast realm across Syria and Iraq.
A local activist group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, reported a series of explosions or airstrikes in the Syrian city Tuesday night.
At the same time, French authorities intensified their hunt for those responsible Friday’s bloodshed, the worst on French soil since World War II. On Tuesday, investigators launched a search for an additional suspect, bringing the total number of alleged attackers to nine. According to Reuters news agency, the new suspect was detected on surveillance video in a car that the attackers used to shoot diners at outdoor cafes and bars.
Kluwe, the Hanover police chief, said the “key warning reached us about 15 minutes before the gates opened.”
A senior European security official said late Tuesday that the information came from an unidentified “foreign service.” He said investigators had not yet finished their work on the ground but that they did not immediately find any explosives.
German news media reported that the threat was from a truck bomb disguised as an ambulance. Lower Saxony’s interior minister, Boris Pistorius, said he could not confirm reports that explosives were found in a vehicle outside the stadium.
Public broadcaster ZDF said on Twitter that all broadcasting vans around the stadium were seized and searched by police.