Austria’s interior ministry announced early this week that it will take all necessary precautions to ensure that what happened in Cologne, Germany last year won’t happen again.
On New Year’s Eve 2016, approximately 1,000 young Muslim men targeted and assaulted dozens of German women during the evening’s festivities. “German authorities said…that coordinated attacks in which young women were sexually harassed and robbed by hundreds of young men on New Year’s Eve in the western city of Cologne were unprecedented in scale and nature,” reported The New York Times. “The assault, which went largely unreported for days, set off a national outcry after the Cologne police described the attackers as young men ‘who appeared to have a North African or Arabic’ background, based on testimony from victims and witnesses. More than 90 people have filed legal complaints, the police said…”
Cologne’s police chief Wolfgang Albers described the shocking attack at the time as “a completely new dimension of crime.”
In response, police in neighboring Austria plan on distributing 6,000 so-called “rape alarms” to protect women as they partake in NYE festivities.
“If activated, the free gadgets will emit a shrill sound aimed at chasing away potential aggressors,” reports The Express (UK). “Several hundred thousand visitors are expected to take to the streets of Vienna, which will host its annual New Year’s Eve party trail, as they usher in 2017.”
Police will also step up security in public spaces in the days leading up to NYE in Vienna.
“It’s a national campaign aimed primarily at women on New Year’s Eve,” said interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck.
The announcement comes after German police revealed that the suspect allegedly behind the truck attack in Berlin is a young Muslim man from Tunisia.
Europe has been struggling to integrate the Muslim refugee population since German Chancellor Angela Merkel initiated an open-door policy. Intelligence services across Europe have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of terror suspects under surveillance.
The threat of ISIS jihadists and other Muslim radicals infiltrating refugee populations in Europe has been highlighted by both US and European security experts.