The Azeri National Security Ministry released information today stating that an armed criminal group planning to launch a terrorist attack against innocent spectators, artists and crew during the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 final were arrested.
Altough there has been no independent confirmation of the alleged plot, according to the BBC , the Azeri National Security Ministry states that 40 people were arrested as they were planning to attack Eurovision from within having obtained tickets for the final on Saturday May 27. The group which had firearms, explosives and other military equipment in their possession were also planning to hit official contest hotels. among them the Hilton Baku and the JW Marriott where national delegations and fans resided. The Ministry claims that many of the terrorists were killed during the counter-terrorist operations.
According to Fox4 News, the terrorists planned to detonate explosives inside the Crystal Hall during the final but would also target mosques and police facilities.
The information was kept secret to avoid mass panic from the thousands of visitors to Baku for the contest.
Sietse Bakker, Project Manager of the Eurovision Song Contest in the European Broadcast Union (EBU) in Geneva, told eurovision.de:”Azerbaijan is perfectly entitled to withhold reports of this kind until after the final. The EBU was not informed of the arrests. Events of this size always pose a risk, but due to the good cooperation we have experienced a successful and safe Eurovision”.
Source: BBC, FOX4, eurovision.de