German police are hunting Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in Munich, after receiving information about “concrete” plans to launch suicide bombings at major train stations in the city at midnight Thursday, timed for the height of New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said Friday morning that Germany had received information from a foreign intelligence service that ISIS was behind the threat, reports the German DPA.
Five to seven suicide bombers were said to be planning to launch attacks at the main Hauptbahnhof station and Pasing station at the western part of Munich’s city center.
Police evacuated the two major train stations, and sent messages on Twitter just after 11 p.m. local time warning people to avoid crowds, although thousands of revelers were nevertheless out on the streets to celebrate.
The intelligence services were those of the US and France, according to BR, which added that seven Iraqis living in Munich were the potential bombers, and that they planned to enter the stations in pairs and detonate simultaneously.
The two train stations opened later after the threat had apparently passed.
Police warned of a “serious, imminent threat,” with around 550 officers deployed around the city, although no arrests have yet been made according to police sources.
Munich police spokesperson Elizabeth Matzinger told the Guardian that she could not confirm the nationalities of the suspects, but acknowledged that “it was apparently a group of five to seven people affiliated to IS (ISIS).”