Police line
Image Credit: Archive

Hagen, Germany: Large numbers of armed police were deployed to protect a synagogue in western Germany on Wednesday evening after authorities said they had received information about a threat against it.

A police officer on the scene said nobody had been hurt during the operation at the synagogue in Hagen, a town of some 200,000 on the fringes of the Ruhr industrial region.

A police spokesperson said the deployment had started at 7.30pm local time, and was continuing. She declined to give further details about the threat, which coincided with the Jewish festival of Yom Kippur, when observant Jews hold overnight vigils in synagogues. It was unclear if anyone was in the synagogue.

“We have information about a possible threat related to a Jewish institution in Hagen,” Dortmund police had earlier said on Twitter. “Protection measures have been taken in response.

We are in close contact with the Jewish community.” Police later added that the road passing directly in front of the synagogue was closed and that they were escorting passers-by through the closed section on request.

In 2019, a right-wing extremist launched an armed attack on a synagogue in the eastern town of Halle, shooting dead two passers-by. Then, police faced criticism for being slow to attend the scene, though they eventually arrested the attacker, who is now serving a life sentence for the murders.