Weekly newsletter

Terrorism: Hungary Maintains Level 2 Security Alert To “Eliminate Potential Risks”

Tamás Székely 2016.03.24.

Following Wednesday morning’s meeting of the Operations Unit, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced on public television that “Hungary is maintaining all the current security measures at its borders, or raising them by one level”. As Hungary forms part of the European Union, however, it must be prepared and must adopt all the measures necessary for eliminating potential risks, the Prime Minister said. Counter Terrorism Centre Director General János Hajdu and National Chief of Police Károly Papp were also present at the meeting.

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Meeting of the Operations Unit on Wednesday morning

The Hungarian Premier said they had reviewed the security situation in Hungary in response to the terrorist attacks in Brussels on Tuesday and had taken the necessary steps.  The additional anti-terrorism measures put in place on Tuesday are being maintained at Level 2, as is the state of full alert ordered at the headquarters of the Counter Terrorism Centre. Police surveillance patrols have been intensified across the whole country and the state of emergency due to mass migration shall be maintained, Viktor Orbán stated. He added that he had instructed interior minister Sándor Pintér to prepare for Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting all counter terrorism-related recommendations which have been the subject of political debate recently and which remain unresolved – such as the proposed amendment of the Constitution.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the need for Hungary to implement technological developments and join the ranks of countries with the technically best-equipped secret services. “We shall procure technology, and conduct training and education”, he stated. The public will see a great many police everywhere, and in certain places armoured units and equipment – in particular around the airport, he said. They will also see military police units on patrol, in addition to which the authorities also need to be concerned with continuously monitoring the “equipment we use for the transmission of information”, he added. According to Viktor Orbán, the target of Tuesday’s terrorist attacks was not Belgium, but the European Union, and we should therefore view them as also being directed against Hungary – although this country is fortunate that they did not take place on its territory.

Hungarians pay tribute to the victims in front of the Belgian Embassy in Budapest

Hungarians pay tribute to the victims in front of the Belgian Embassy in Budapest

Previously Viktor Orbán also said he was shocked to hear of the attacks in Brussels committed on Tuesday morning. He has expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and wishes quick recovery to those injured. Meanwhile Hungary’s President János Áder expressed condolences to Philippe, King of Belgium, saying he was deeply shocked to learn about the blasts that claimed the lives of several innocent people. On behalf of the Hungarian people he wished the injured a fast recovery. The “merciless evil acts” committed in Brussels again highlight the need on the part of the international community to fight terrorism with concerted and consistent action, János Áder said, adding that Hungary is committed to supporting efforts aimed at protecting human values.

On Tuesday morning terrorist attacks in Belgium were directed against Zaventem Airport and Brussels city centre. According to the latest estimates on Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 people died and at least 230 people were injured in the attacks.

via kormany.hu and MTI photos: MTI


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