US military says European forces vigilant amid reports of terror alert 

World News

By Jack Phillips 
Contributing Writer 

The U.S. military on Sunday responded to reports that bases across Europe were placed on their second-highest level alert, saying that its European command will “remain vigilant.” 

Reports from multiple news outlets that cited unnamed U.S. Department of Defense and military officials said that the alert level of Force Protection Condition (FPCON), or “Charlie,” was implemented over the past weekend. 

“There is credible intel pointing to an attack against U.S. bases over the next week or so,” an unnamed U.S. defense official told Fox News. Those reports could not be immediately verified. 

According to CNN, two unnamed military officials said that the military is concerned about the potential of a terrorist attack somewhere in Europe, although few details were provided. ABC News also reported the shift in the threat across Europe, citing two U.S. military officials. 

In addressing the reports, a U.S. Department of Defense spokesman said on Monday that it is “constantly assessing a variety of factors” on security and safety,” adding, “For operational security reasons, we will not get into specific measures, but we remain vigilant.” 

“As part of that effort, we often times take additional steps to ensure the safety of our service members,” the statement said. 

The statement added that European Command “constantly monitors the security environment to ensure its personnel are informed and best postured to assure the safety of their individual person, family and loved ones,” adding that “personnel in the European theater” should “remain vigilant and stay alert at all times.” 

The statement did not make any specific references to the reports that cited unnamed military officials. There have been concerns from European officials that there might be a potential terrorist attack on the continent in light of the Paris Olympics in July as well as the European soccer championships being held in Germany. 

Recent bulletins sent out by various U.S. embassies have not warned of a possible terrorist attack in any European country. 

The U.S. military sets force protection levels for certain levels, including Normal, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, or Delta, which is the highest state. In many years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bravo was a common alert level for many U.S. bases. 

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told reporters last month that officials are concerned about the possibility of a terrorist attack. “Our focus of course is above all on the threat of Islamist terrorism, hooligans and their offenses, everyday crime, violent criminals, but this time also on cyber attacks,” Faeser said at a ceremony for around 350 police officers deployed for the soccer event. 

“Our security authorities therefore have the Islamist scene firmly in their sights,” she added, referring to terrorist groups such as ISIS. About 22,000 police officers will be working during each day at the tournament, she stated. 

In the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray has, on multiple occasions, issued multiple warnings about the possibility of a terrorist attack inside the United States. 

“Foreign terrorists, including ISIS, al-Qaeda, and their adherents, have renewed calls for attacks against Jewish communities here in the United States and across the West in statements and propaganda,” Wray said in April. 

“The foreign terrorist threat and the potential for a coordinated attack here in the homeland, like the ISIS-K attack we saw at the Russia Concert Hall a couple weeks ago, is now increasingly concerning. Oct. 7 and the conflict that’s followed will feed a pipeline of radicalization and mobilization for years to come,” he stated, making reference to a terrorist attack claimed by ISIS in Moscow, Russia, that left more than 140 people dead in April and the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel by the Hamas terrorist group. 

Meanwhile, several former top U.S. officials, have made similar comments. In June, former CIA Director Michael Morell told CBS News that U.S. officials should act with more of a sense of urgency in mitigating the potential of a terrorist attack. 

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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