Security Increased for Champions League Games After ISIS Threats

Public safety officials in England, France and Spain said Tuesday that they would step up security for matches this week in the Champions League, Europe’s marquee soccer competition, after ISIS-related groups called for violent attacks on the contests.

The first of four quarterfinal matchups were scheduled in London and Madrid on Tuesday, and were to feature some of the top clubs in world soccer: Spain’s Real Madrid; the English giants Arsenal and Manchester City; and Germany’s Bayern Munich. Two other high-profile matches will take place on Wednesday in Paris and Madrid.

“We don’t know what location might be particularly targeted, neither in what conditions,” the French interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, told reporters in Paris. But he said he had spoken with police officials in Paris on Tuesday morning and had been assured that they “have considerably reinforced the security measures.”

In Spain, the interior ministry said it had raised the country’s terrorist alert level after the appearance of a photo online carrying the message “Kill them all” and the names of the four stadiums where this week’s games are to be played, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper El Mundo. The ministry said security measures at the matches in Madrid had been increased and additional agents deployed.

At least one of the threats was accompanied by an image showing the main entrances to Arsenal’s stadium in London.

“The U.K. terrorism threat level remains at ‘substantial,’ meaning an attack is likely,” said Ade Adelekan, the deputy assistant commissioner for the Metropolitan Police in London. The Metropolitan Police said it would have a “robust” security plan in place for the Arsenal-Bayern Munich match at London’s Emirates Stadium.

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