police at Lisbon airport
Image: André Kosters/ Lusa

Portugal’s terror threat level “stays where it is” for now

But security reinforced around “places, people and institutions considered most at risk”

With the Western world very much on alert following the October 7 terrorist attacks in Israel, and ensuing protests and atrocities in France, Belgium and the U.S., Portugal’s internal security system (SSI) has stressed the country’s terror threat levels are not being increased, for the time being.

The office of SSI secretary-general Paulo Vizeu Pinheiro admits nonetheless that “police have adopted security measures adjusted to the conflict between Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas”.

MAI – the ministry of internal security – put more meat on the bones of the statement, saying that security has been reinforced around places, people and institutions considered most at risk – without specifying which places, people and institutions these are.

Says Lusa, “last week, PSP police told its journalists that security at Israeli structures in Portugal (such as the embassy and synagogues) had been reinforced”.

Since then, SSI has said it is monitoring the evolution of Portugal’s security situation, “namely through the Anti-Terrorism Coordination Unit (UCAT), on a permanent basis”.

Another detail in overall security came in MAI’s decision to leave frontier controls 100% in the hands of SEF inspectors, even though SEF, as an institute, will be officially disbanded on October 29, and the various employees redirected to positions within the various police forces (GNR/ PSP and PJ).

Minister José Luís Carneiro said today that the decision was based on “a question of caution”, and will remain in effect at all land, sea and air borders for the next 12 months. ND