2015 New Year's attack plots

In late December 2015, authorities in several countries announced the discovery of attack plots, organized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), targeting New Year's celebrations. Police in North America and Europe were on high alert in December 2015 because of a series of terrorist attacks and attack plots, including the November 2015 Paris attacks, and because of information picked up by security agencies indicating that militants might plan to attack public New Year's Eve celebrations.[1]

New Year's Eve celebrations were cancelled following intelligence reports of planned attacks and several arrests in Brussels, while in Munich, rail service was suspended as suspected attack plots were uncovered. In other cities, security was increased amid heightened fears in the wake of the Paris attacks.[2][3][4][5] There were unprecedented security measures in several major European cities, including Paris, London and Moscow.[6][7]

New Year's attack plots


Belgian police on 27 and 28 December arrested two men and charged them with involvement in an ISIL-related plan to attack New Year's celebrations in Brussels, reportedly having discussed attacking the Grand Place. Four others were brought in for questioning but subsequently released in police raids. Public New Year's Eve celebrations and fireworks were cancelled in Brussels due to the heightened terror threat.[8][9] On 30 December new raids led to another arrest in the Sint-Jans-Molenbeek district.[10]


Turkish police on 30 December seized bomb-making equipment, a suicide vest and other equipment during a raid of a house in Ankara, and detained two ISIL militants on charges of plotting a New Year's attack. A main target was reported to be the Kizilay Square where large crowds gather to celebrate New Year's Eve.[11][12]

Munich train stations plot

In Munich, ISIL terrorists reportedly planned attacks on two train stations on New Year's Eve.[13][14] German police stated that they thwarted the plots after they received a "very concrete tip" around 7:40 p.m. on New Year's Eve from intelligence sources in the United States and France.[1] According to Bavarian interior minister Joachim Herrmann, between five and seven suicide bombers planned to blow themselves up at locations that included two train stations.[14] A 550-strong police manhunt ensued after the possible suspects.[15] The investigation was dropped in February 2016 due to "lack of clues" amid a failure to uncover leads on the seven names given in the warning.[16]

Rochester, New York

Police in Rochester, New York, arrested a man allegedly inspired by ISIL propaganda to plan an attack on a New Year's celebration in a Rochester-area restaurant.[17][18] Emanuel Lutchman, age 25, was arrested by the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force on December 30 and charged with offering to provide material support to a terrorist group. He had specifically planned an attack on the Merchants Grill restaurant.[19]

Other plots

Turkish police later revealed that they had informed other countries after finding evidence on a laptop retrieved during the Ankara raid of an EU-wide plot against Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and Turkey by a group of thirteen prepared suicide bombers who had left the ISIL headquarters in Al-Raqqah.[20] Austrian police heightened security measures and investigated suspects in Vienna before New Year's Eve, without finding "concrete further results".[21]

See also


  1. 1 2 Eddy, Melissa (1 January 2016). "Munich on High Alert After New Year's Eve Terrorism Threat". New York Times. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  2. Smith, Alexander; Jamieson, Alastair; Ing, Nancy (31 December 2015). "Security Raised at New Year Celebrations Amid World Terror Fears". NBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  3. Hanna, Jason; McKirdy, Euan (31 December 2015). "Security and terrorism: Jittery backdrops to New Year's Eve around the world". CNN. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  4. Bartunek, Robert-Jan (1 January 2016). "Brussels cancels NYE celebrations, Turkey attack plots foiled with arrests". The Sydney Morning Herald. Reuters; Washington Post. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  5. Koren, Marina (31 December 2016). "The Heightened Security for New Year's Eve Around the World". The Atlantic. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  6. "Terror alert and fires disrupt New Year's celebrations". Al-Jazeera. 1 January 2016.
  7. "Brussels police detain three over 'New Year terror plot'". BBC. 31 December 2015.
  8. Calamur, Krishnadev (29 December 2015). "Arrests in Belgium". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  9. Hanna, Jason; Cruickshank, Paul; Cotovio, Vasco (30 December 2015). "Brussels' New Year's festivities canceled in wake of alleged plot". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  10. "Belgium on edge after year of terror". CNN. 30 December 2015.
  11. Koren, Marina (30 December 2015). "A Foiled New Year's Eve Terrorist Plot in Turkey". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  12. Yeginsu, Ceylan (30 December 2015). "Turkey Detains 2 ISIS Militants Planning New Year's Eve Attack". New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
  13. Knight, Ben (1 January 2016). "Munich suicide bomb plot: police hunt Isis suspects behind New Year's Eve threat". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  14. 1 2 Smith, Alexander; Neubert, Michele (1 January 2016). "ISIS Plot Tip-Off Triggered New Year's Eve Terror Scare in Munich". NBC News. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  15. "Manhunt in Munich for New Year terror suspects". The Local. 1 January 2016.
  16. "Munich New Year terror investigation comes up empty". The Local. 18 February 2016.
  17. Yaron, Steinbuch (31 December 2015). "Man plotted New Year's Eve attack in Rochester under ISIS direction: feds". New York Post. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  18. LoBianco, Tom (1 January 2016). "Feds: New York man was planning ISIS attack on New Year's Eve". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  19. McDermott, Meaghan M. (8 January 2016). "Accused terrorist Lutchman fights tears in court". Democrat & Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  20. "Munich New Year alert 'part of EU-wide Isis plot'". The Local. 7 January 2016.
  21. "Security and terrorism: Jittery backdrops to New Year's Eve around the world". CNN. 31 December 2016.
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