Threat Level Raised in US’s European Bases Over Potential Terrorist Attack

Several US military bases in Europe were placed on a heightened alert in late June, with the force protection raised to its second-highest level over concerns of a possible terrorist attack targeting US military personnel or bases.

According to two Pentagon officials, the bases, which included the US Army garrison stationed at the US European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, raised the alert level to Force Protection Condition “Charlie” on June 30.

US bases in Germany, including Ramstein Air Base, urged military personnel to “remain vigilant.” The Stuttgart garrison announced that some services would be closed and off-post youth field trips were canceled.

According to the US Army, Force Protection Condition “Charlie” applies when there is intelligence indicating some kind of terrorist action against military personnel or bases could be likely.

One official told CNN that the force protection alert had not been raised to this level in at least a decade and typically meant that an “active-reliable threat” had been received. 

Public messaging from US European Command in late June warned that “malign actors” in the European theater had “increased the threat of attacks” on non-military targets. The messages urged military personnel to “remain vigilant” for “attempts to collect on US activities.”

US European Command spokesman Cdr. Dan Day said they were “constantly assessing” any factors that could place US military personnel at risk. As part of that assessment, European Command will “take additional steps” to ensure US personnel are safe.

While it is not known what triggered the heightened alert, European officials have warned of a possible terrorist threat ahead of the Paris Summer Olympics this month.

Additionally, Germany enlisted 580 international police to assist with security during the European football championships. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the additional security was in anticipation of “all conceivable dangers,” including hooligans, violent criminals, and Islamist terrorists.