The countdown to 2016 is on, but new terror threats at home and abroad have moved some European officials to change New Year’s celebrations or cancel them altogether.
In Paris, a New Year’s Eve street party will go on as planned, but the fireworks display has been canceled. French officials say there’s a need for even greater vigilance in the wake of the terror attacks that killed 130 people in November.
“I was in Paris the week after it happened and, the thing is, you can’t let people like that dictate your lifestyle and your choices,” tourist Juan Salines said.
In Brussels, the mayor also decided to cancel the fireworks display. Authorities there arrested two men this week in connection with a suspected holiday plot.
In the United States, New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said there are no credible threats right now.
“We are not aware of any threat at this time that we deem credible,” Bratton said.
The situation overseas will not stop massive New Year’s Eve celebrations in America.
An estimated 1 million people will pack into about 20 city blocks in and around New York’s Times Square for the annual ball drop.
The city’s police department is deploying 6,000 heavily armed officers there, more than any time in the past.
“There’s only so much then can do,” one New Yorker said.
“I don’t really feel safe anywhere,” said another.
Manhattan’s mayor is also touting another not-so-secret weapon.
The city has a new task force of 500 officers working fulltime on counterterrorism.
In Pasadena, California, police are prepping for the Rose Bowl parade. Federal officials designated the celebration a top-tier security event even before the San Bernardino attack.
More than two dozen federal agencies are joining forces with local police to protect the 700,000 people expected to attend the annual event.
The Las Vegas strip is also on high alert, with more than 300,000 people expected to fill the city’s streets.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.