Friday 30 September 2016

'There is no specific threat against the Eurovision Song Contest' - City of Stockholm denies terror threat

Published 29/04/2016 | 07:54

This year's Eurovision stage is already under construction in Sweden
This year's Eurovision stage is already under construction in Sweden

The City of Stockholm has confirmed that there is no specific terror threat against the Eurovision Song Contest.

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The announcement comes in the wake of reports that Eurovision chiefs are on high alert after the arrival of eight ISIS jihadists in Stockholm.

Malahide's Nicky Byrne who will represent Ireland in this year's Eurovision song contest
Malahide's Nicky Byrne who will represent Ireland in this year's Eurovision song contest

The Daily Star reports that the men have allegedly come from fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and one is believed to have links to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

With 16000 people expected to attend the contest on May 14 the Globe Arena in host city Stockholm could be a target for a terror attack.

However, Jesper Ackinger, project manager for the event, said that security is at a very "high" level although they do not comment on specific security plans around events.

The communications team for Eurovision said, "We are of course following these media reports with great interest and are in close contact with the host broadcaster and the relevant authorities, as usual in the lead up to the event.

Graham Norton will reprise his role as the UK's Eurovision commentator
Graham Norton will reprise his role as the UK's Eurovision commentator

"We have full confidence in the security measures taken by the responsible authorities. The security and safety of the event is everyone's top priority however for obvious reasons we cannot go into details of specific security measures.

"It’s also worth adding that as of 09:30 today the City of Stockholm confirmed that there is no specific threat against the Eurovision Song Contest."

Ireland's representative Nicky Byrne will be heading to Stockholm to perform his song Sunlight and it is believed that Marty Whelan will commentate for RTE from the city.

Graham Norton, who will provide the BBC's commentary will also travel to Sweden.

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