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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Champions League Hosts Ramp Up Security Amid ISIS Threat

  • A social media post linked to the terrorist group threatened stadiums in Paris, London, and Madrid.
  • Arsenal hosts Bayern Munich on Tuesday, while Atlético Madrid welcomes Borussia Dortmund.
Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

European officials say they’re taking extra security measures around this week’s Champions League quarterfinals after an apparent threat from ISIS. 

The media and propaganda arm of one ISIS regional affiliate, Islamic State–Khorasan, posted photos of all four match stadiums with the words “Kill them all.” The four matches, scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday in London, Paris, and Madrid, will go on as scheduled, UEFA said.

UEFA said in a statement to ESPN that it is aware of the threats and is “closely liaising with the authorities at the respective venues.”

Arsenal plays Bayern Munich in London, Real Madrid hosts Manchester City, Barcelona travels to face Paris Saint-Germain, and Atlético Madrid welcomes Borussia Dortmund.

Local or national authorities for all three sites have released statements acknowledging the threat. Interior ministries of France and Spain have confirmed a heightened police presence will be on-site, with more than 2,000 additional security members in Madrid.

“Who isn’t worried or concerned by terrorist threats?” PSG manager Luis Enrique said in a Tuesday press conference. “I hope that it is something that we can control, that will only be a threat and nothing more.”

ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the March 22 attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Concert Hall that killed 144 people. A week later, another media outlet tied to ISIS posted a photo with a target on Allianz Arena ahead of a match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, with the words “After the game” written in Arabic. German officials upped the police presence, and no violence occurred.

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