Terrorist security alert at Portugal NATO Summit

Fears that next month’s NATO summit in Lisbon could be targeted by terrorists have been played down by security experts.

Despite a number of alerts from United States sources that a terrorist attack is imminent in Europe, Portugal is unlikely to be the preferred target for Islamic fundamental groups such as Al-Qaeda.

José Manuel Anes, President of the Portuguese Observatory for Security, Organised Crime and Terrorism (OSCOT) told RTP that “Portugal was less likely than other countries in Europe to be a target of a terrorist attack”.

This comment came after the United States government in Washington warned US travellers of the potential terrorist threat at tourist destinations in Europe.

The US communiqué did not mention any specific country but Paris, Berlin and London were expected to be in the line of fire.

The warning did not state that US citizens shouldn’t travel to Europe but did suggest that “public transport networks and tourist facilities as well as air and shipping facilities” could prove potential targets.

In the past month there have already been bomb scares at Paris’s Eiffel Tower while in the United Kingdom the authorities raised terrorist attack warnings from ‘General Alert’ to ‘High Alert.’

British Home Office minister Theresa May has also stated that Europe “is facing a serious and real terrorist threat”.

José Manuel Anes of OSCOT added that while a threat in Portugal was “unlikely” that didn’t mean it could be “ruled out”.

Police and security services are stepping up security measures in and around Lisbon, particularly at the venue where the NATO summit will take place, at the Parque das Nações between November 19th and 21st.

José Manuel Anes said that if a terrorist attack was imminent, it would most likely occur in the run-up or aftermath of the World Leaders Meeting in South Korea next month.