Police have shut down a shopping center in the western German city of Essen, citing “reliable tip-offs” warning of an imminent terrorist attack, according to local media.
“The current state of our investigation points to the threat being exclusively at the shopping center,” local police said in a statement.
Germany has been on edge after a string of Islamist-linked attacks last year, the deadliest being the truck-ramming of a Berlin Christmas market. The self-confessed Daesh (outlawed in Russia) terrorist group member, Anis Amri, drove a stolen truck into a crowd, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others.
The force said investigators were urgently looking into the origin of the attacking threat using specialist forces and has set up a phone number for concerned residents. While the threat apparently concerns only the shopping center, the adjacent roads and entrances to the building have been blocked.
“Police are now intensively trying to clarify the nature of the threat using numerous specialists. Ongoing investigations currently prohibit the disclosure of further details due to the ongoing investigation,” they added.
Numerous arrests have been made over suspected terror plots, including an Isis supporter found manufacturing explosives to bomb an airport in Berlin last year.