Geneva authorities reduce terror alert level

Geneva authorities reduce terror alert level
Photo: AFP
Geneva is returning to normal after authorities lowered the terror alert level raised earlier this month following intelligence about a specific threat in the canton.

The cantonal government said it had reassessed the terrorist threat after Christmas on the advice of Geneva police and in consultation with the federal authorities.

The Geneva security services “have decided to return to the level of vigilance in force before December 10th”, a statement said.

It said that the religious, commercial and diplomatic events that could have been the target of potential terrorist attacks were now over.

Geneva's traditional l'Escalade festival took place in mid-December and brought thousands out onto the streets.

But Geneva security department spokeswoman Caroline Widmer said the lowered threat level did not mean that there was no terrorist risk, the sda news agency reported.

Police would maintain an appropriate presence throughout the New Year period, she said.

Geneva police on December 10th announced a manhunt for potential Islamic State group sympathizers and beefed up security at key locations, amid reports that US intelligence had identified a jihadist cell in the area.

During the period of heightened alert, strategic locations were under round-the-clock watch, while the United Nations European headquarters, known as the Palais des Nations, had added security by UN guards.

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