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U.S. cities on high alert ahead of holidays amid terror attack on Berlin market

December 22, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
U.S. cities on high alert ahead of holidays amid terror attack on Berlin market

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Cities across the nation have heightened security at Christmas events following the terror attack on a Berlin market that killed 12 people.

Police are expanding their presence at holiday villages and major sites around cities such as Chicago, New York, and Boston as the United States remains on high alert.

The increase in security stems from the terror attack on a Christmas market in Germany after a Tunisian man, who is believed to have hijacked a 25-tonne lorry, murdered 12 victims and wounded an additional 48.

Police in New York have confirmed that highly trained specialist units, along with its anti-terror squad, would be dispatched to high profile areas around the city.

Security has been bolstered at the world-famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center

Sites are expected to have a large armed police presence, which include Bryant Park’s Winter Village market, the Christmas market near Columbus Circle, and Union Square’s festive stalls.

The world-famous Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Herald Square, home to department store Macy’s, is also under high-security surveillance, The USA Today reported.

The NYPD said in a statement: “The NYPD is monitoring the events in Germany and around the world. The Department has moved highly trained teams, including the Critical Response Command, to high profile locations around NYC.”

“In the coming days, we will learn more about what occurred to inform the NYPD’s operations, deployments, and training of officers,” the announcement added.

Heightened Security in cities across the United States amid Berlin terror attack

Additionally, Chicago Police also verified they would be expanding their presence at the annual Christmas market in downtown Chicago.

Anthony Guglielmi, a spokesperson for the Chicago Police, said that although there are no specific threats to the city at this time, officers will continue to be vigilant.

He noted that extra bike and foot patrols would be included to boost market security along with specialized units.

The winter village market and ice rink in Bryant Park is one of the areas that police will be stepping up security

Boston’s Mayor Martin J. Walsh confirmed that barriers would be placed in a bid to protect the “Boston Winter” market in City Hall Plaza.

The city has already been the subject of a terror attack after the Boston Marathon was targeted in April 2013, which killed three people and injured much more.

Walsh also noted that police will always be on high alert and will be watching social media.

He said in an interview with the Boston Herald: “Part of what we want to try to do with technology that we’re being criticized for is being able to look on Twitter and Facebook just to make sure something like this that might be planned, that we can break it up.”

Walsh added: “The police are going to continue, not just through the holiday season, to make sure the people of Boston are safe.”

News of increased security comes after President-elect Donald Trump called the terror attack in Berlin a “horrifying attack on humanity” and added it would push the United States and its “freedom-loving partners” to fight ISIS.

However, President Obama has not yet commented on the incident as he is currently in Hawaii for his annual Christmas vacation.

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