US military bolsters security at European bases

The US military has stepped up security at its bases across Europe in the aftermath of deadly attacks by Islamists in Paris, officials said Thursday.

Washington: The US military has stepped up security at its bases across Europe in the aftermath of deadly attacks by Islamists in Paris, officials said Thursday.

Spokesman Captain Greg Hicks said US European Command had ordered "additional force protection measures" including reinforced random security checks at installations throughout the region.

"We continually assess threats to our forces with and alongside our host nation counterparts and take appropriate measures based on those assessments," he said, without disclosing specific measures.

Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel said he supported the move but added that there was currently no intelligence indicating an imminent threat against American forces or their families in Europe.

He said the danger posed by extremists and foreign fighters returning to the West represented a "long-term challenge" requiring a coordinated effort by governments.

"This isn`t anything that`s going to be over soon. This is not a threat that can be fixed by sending great armies in to invade countries," he told reporters.

France and other European governments are looking at bolstering counter-terrorism policies to prevent more attacks like the one two weeks ago in Paris, which left 17 people dead.

Western intelligence agencies are particularly concerned over foreign volunteers who join up with extremists in Syria`s civil war and then travel back to Europe ready to stage an attack.

Last month, even before the attacks in Paris, the 67,000 US troops stationed in Europe were advised not to wear their uniforms off base as a precaution.

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