As people around the world prepare to ring in the new year, their governments and police forces have increased security measures at celebrations and gatherings or canceled them altogether amid fears of terrorist attacks.
The heightened holiday security comes after deadly assaults in Paris and San Bernardino in recent months, and after authorities in Belgium, Turkey, and the United States this week arrested people who were believed to be planning to carry out attacks during New Year celebrations in highly populated areas.
In Paris, the site of terrorist attacks claimed by the Islamic State that killed 130 people in November, officials called off an annual fireworks display on the Champs-Élysées, according to The Guardian. About 11,000 police, soldiers, and firefighters will patrol Paris, part of a total of 60,000 law-enforcement officers dispatched throughout the country Thursday night.
In Brussels, Belgian officials decided to cancel New Year fireworks and festivities, which drew about 100,000 people last year, “given information we have received,” said Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel Wednesday. The capital spent several days at the country’s highest terror alert level in November as police scoured neighborhoods for potential suspects in the Paris attacks.