August 8, 2013 12:23

Police confirm al-Qaeda threats were behind increased security at Lollapalooza 2013

US festival was headlined by The Killers, Mumford & Sons and The Cure

Police confirm al-Qaeda threats were behind increased security at Lollapalooza 2013

Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

Officials in Chicago have confirmed that a recent al-Qaeda threat that closed US embassies in the Middle East was behind the increased security at this year's Lollapalooza Festival.

The event, which was headlined by The Killers, Mumford & Sons and The Cure, saw increased bag searches, undercover police working on site and bomb-sniffing dogs deployed between August 2 and 4 in Grant Park, Chicago. An official for the Chicago police confirmed that recent threats to US embassies abroad had led to the upscaling of security at the festival.

"Even though [authorities] feel it's focused on embassies abroad, with Lollapalooza here we had to take some extra steps,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy explained during a press conference. Fortunately, no terrorist threats were reported at Lollapalooza 2013, but Huffington Post reports that undercover police made around 10 arrests on drug charges and a further 46 were arrested on misdemeanour charges.

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that 19 US embassies around the world remain closed amid fears of a fresh al-Qaeda terrorist attack. The threat is described as "the most serious in years" and there are concerns that the situation is reminiscent of that which preceded the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The ninth annual Lollapalooza festival also featured performances from Nine Inch Nails, Phoenix, The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, New Order, Queens Of The Stone Age, Haim and The National.

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