Terror attacks spur elevated public security in Hungary

History

Following the attacks in Berlin and Ankara, the Hungarian police are operating an enhanced, and highly visible, presence around the whole country, with a special focus on well-frequented places, such as fairs, markets and malls, according to a press statement issued by the police.

Armed TEK personnel on patrol at one of Hungaryʼs major railway stations on December 20. (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)

The police statement says officers are also paying special attention to monitoring trucks, as well as violations and breaches of the Highway Code. Armed officers from Hungary’s special Counter Terrorism Center (TEK) have been deployed to patrol major hubs, supported by armored cars, since the day after the attacks in Berlin and Ankara, in an attempt to secure public spaces and reassure people out and about.

TEK has, however, come in for recent criticism for missing the almost 200,000 prepaid SIM cards reportedly purchased under one name, and thought to have been acquired for potential terrorist acts. It has also been criticized for showing up at fairs and markets in public displays of its operative capabilities, while small stores in Budapest have been robbed in increasing numbers in the run up to the holidays, according to Hungarian news reports.

At present there are no plans for Hungary’s terrorism alert status to be raised from its current level of three, György Bakondi, the prime minister’s consultant, told a press briefing after the attacks, according to reports.

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