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Germany beefs up security amid terrorism threat as Euro 2024 kicks off

Police search the Dusseldorf Arena in Germany for suspicious objects ahead of Euro 2024. (Photo by AP)

Germany has beefed up its defenses, with police officers from across Europe convening in the country amid terrorism threats to the Euro 2024 soccer tournament.

The focus is “above all” on the threat of terrorism, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Thursday at a ceremony for around 350 foreign police officers dispatched for the event.

“Hooligans and their offenses, everyday crime, violent criminals,” and cyber-attacks were also a top focus, she added.

That comes as the Daesh terrorist group called for attacks at the month-long football tournament, which kicks off with Germany facing Scotland on Friday.

Faeser said the security authorities have the threat of terrorism “firmly in their sights,” while noting that authorities were not aware of any specific plots.

Some 2.7 million people are expected to attend matches in stadiums across Germany, and around 12 million in the country’s fan zones for outdoor viewing.

The fan zones were popular during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, but it remains unclear whether continuing conflicts in Ukraine and West Asia and the rise of far-right in Europe can affect the public mood of the major tournament.

"Some people are trying to bring these conflicts into our country," Faeser warned, stressing that propaganda and hate speech on German streets would not be tolerated.

Around 22,000 police officers will be working each day at the tournament.

German security authorities are also working with international partners to identify potential threats.

The country has also ramped up its border controls at all of Germany's nine land borders.

The Paris Olympics, the other European sporting tournament this summer, is also facing a terrorist threat.

Last week, The National cited a counter-terrorism expert as saying that Daesh terrorists have published "detailed" manuals for adapting drones to attack the games.

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