The central Hauptbahnhof station and western Pasing station were shut down and special police units with automatic weapons were sent to guard the entrances.
Five to seven suicide bombers were to take part in the attack, Munich police chief Hubertus Andrae said at the same conference. They had yet to confirm, they said, whether the names they had received were correct or, indeed, whether the suspects were real people. “We have no information that these people are in Munich or in Germany”, he added.
Authorities received information indicating that five to seven ISIS militants were planning attacks throughout the city that night.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed pressure to clamp down on migrant arrivals along Bavaria’s border with Austria, which critics say allowed Islamic State to smuggle in militants to carry out attacks in Europe.
Joachim Herrman, the interior minister for the state of Bavaria, has revealed that German authorities were notified of the threat by a “friendly intelligence service” and described it as a “concrete” tip.
By 3.30 am, the stations had been reopened and the terror alert was downgraded later on Friday to the level it stood at before New Year’s Eve.
The threat involved suicide attacks on trains, prompting station closures.
Referring to the Munich scare, Mr Herrmann said the authorities “have nothing concrete about a place or time”.
Investigators said early Friday they are trying to find out more information about the suspects.
He said no arrests had been made and called on the city’s residents to be cautious, but to continue their lives as normal.
The warning came only hours before the city rang in the new year.
Police officers in Germany ahead of New Year celebrations.
In a security update on January 1, Munich police said that “following investigations, there is now no concrete risk of an attack” in the city.
Europe has been on edge since the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris that killed at least 130 people.
Shortly after the Paris attacks, German police cancelled a friendly soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands in Hanover because of fears of a planned bomb attack. “There are no new (security) alerts for the next hours and days”.
On their Twitter feed, Munich police said: ‘Good morning to those, who spent the night out in #munich! “Thanks for staying calm and for your understanding concerning our measures”, the latest message in English said.
Meanwhile across Europe, public celebrations went ahead as planned but under the watchful eye of thousands of police and security forces.
Bild is reporting that authorities have the names of the suspects after a tip-off.
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