ISIS stadium threat puts UEFA Champions League soccer teams on alert for quarterfinals

London — Anonymous online supporters of the Islamic terrorist group ISIS have threatened football stadiums across Europe in the run-up to major quarter-final matches in the UEFA Champions League, European football’s biggest club competition.

A post this week by pro-IS online media outlet the Al Azaim Foundation showed graphic images of a gunman wearing a balaclava, with the message “Kill them all” in large text. The message lists the Emirates Stadium in London, the Parc de Prince (sic) in Paris and the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid as targets.

The three stadiums are expected to host major Champions League matches, bringing together tens of thousands of supporters.

No threats were made via official social media accounts run by or known to be linked to ISIS.

Police patrol outside Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium ahead of the Champions League quarter-final football match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich in London, April 9, 2024.

Frank Augstein/AP

UEFA, the body that manages the Champions League, said in a statement sent to CBS News on Tuesday that it was “aware of the alleged terrorist threats made against this week’s UEFA Champions League matches and “she was in close liaison with the authorities of the respective sites.”

“All matches are expected to go ahead as planned, with appropriate safety measures in place,” the statement said.

Richard Barnes, a counter-terrorism adviser who heads stadium security for London’s Metropolitan Police, confirmed police were investigating online threats ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday evening.

He told CBS News, however, that online threats were “not a new tactic used by various terrorist groups to trigger or raise alarm.”

Barnes said London Police’s counter-terrorism unit was “investigating this matter and will also engage with internal and external partners and stakeholders to ensure that tonight’s match at the Emirates Stadium does not is not affected.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said security would be “significantly increased” around Wednesday’s Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in the French capital in response to the threat, according to the AFP news agency.

ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow attack, suspects appear in court

Threats and enhanced security measures come just weeks after bloody attack on Crocus City Hall in the Russian capitalwho saw armed men storm the concert hall before setting it on fire.

An unprecedented Russian branch of ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, which left nearly 200 people dead.

It also comes just days after an 18-year-old Idaho man was arrested and charged with plotting to kill worshipers in his town in the name of ISISaccording to court documents released earlier this week.

ISIS has a history of bloody attacks on European soil, including devastating and well-orchestrated attacks attack in several places around Paris in 2015. France’s national football stadium, just north of Paris, was the only place outside the capital that was attacked by ISIS militants during this siege. This is not the same location that was mentioned in the post this week on the pro-IS website.

Khaled Wassef of CBS News contributed to this report.

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button