Slovakia raised the terrorist threat level to the second degree on August 22 at 14:00. It means that although there is little possibility of a terrorist attack in Slovakia, one cannot be ruled out entirely.
Several large-scale events are due to be organised in Slovakia in the next few days, including an air show at Sliač (Banská Bystrica Region) on August 26 and 27, commemorations of the Slovak National Uprising on August 29 and celebrations of Constitution Day on September 1, said Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar.
“We’re coming into a period that we view as requiring vigilance beyond ordinary measures,” said Gašpar, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
He also pointed to a series of terror attacks in several other countries.
With the second-degree terror alert in place, the police will increase its presence on the streets, with special focus on places with large movements of people, including shopping centres and railway stations.
Moreover, the National and Analytical Centre, whose main task is to collect and analyse the security information of all security and intelligence services in Slovakia will work 24 hours a day over the following two weeks at least, Gašpar said, as reported by the SITA newswire.
Security analyst Milan Žitný said that the increased terrorist threat level does not mean a real threat. People will not be immediately affected by it, though they will notice an increased number of police patrols at the places where there are bigger crowds, he told TASR.
Intelligence agency also responds
Meanwhile, the Slovak Information Service (SIS) has adopted several security measures, particularly in connection with upcoming events.
“After the first information about terrorist attacks in Barcelona, Finland, Russia, and also in Egypt where a Czech citizen became a victim, and after discussions between Slovakia’s prime minister, interior minister and SIS head, the intelligence service and other security forces adopted standard security measures responding to similar critical situations,” the SIS informed in a statement, as quoted by SITA.
It refused however to specify what those measures are.
The SIS is particularly concerned by the attacks of the so-called lone wolves, small local groups of radical fanatics or Jihad returnees, whose actions are hard to predict and dangerous.
“These new types of attacks confirm the trend for a terrorist campaign,”the SIS continued, as quoted by SITA, adding that the events in Barcelona brought a completely new form of attack. “The attackers’ focus has become mostly the so-called soft targets and places with crowds.”