Press release – György Bakondi, Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, told Hungarian television channel TV2 that the terror alert in Hungary will remain at Level 2 until the circumstances of the Brussels attacks and its potential further strands have been clarified.
The Chief Security Advisor said that this process, which is based on international cooperation, may take up to one or two weeks.
Mr. Bakondi added that, once the full picture has emerged, a decision can be made on whether the recently enhanced measures aimed at ensuring the safety of Hungary’s citizens will be maintained, tightened even further, or reduced to the previous lower terror alert level (Level 3).
Mr. Bakondi reiterated that Hungarian authorities have no information on any particular terrorist threat in Hungary, but he added that there are certain strands which could also affect us. He also said that Hungary has always stood up against terrorism and illegal migration in a decisive manner, and this may not have pleased those who wanted to use illegal mass migration to bring terrorists into Europe.
The Chief Security Advisor said that reinforced security measures in place since the introduction of terror alert Level 2 at busy locations, traffic junctions, airports and at Paks Nuclear Power Plant have a deterrent effect. In addition to this, they convey the message to Hungary’s citizens that the personnel of the Counter Terrorism Centre and the Hungarian Defence and Police forces are ready to defend Hungary.
In other interviews with public television channel M1 and public broadcaster Kossuth Rádió, Mr. Bakondi also talked about the meeting of the Operations Unit held on Wednesday morning. At that meeting the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Interior and Defence, and the heads of the relevant military and police units and the secret services reviewed the situation and the information available at that time. Based on this, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán decided that it was necessary to maintain the terror alert at Level 2. He also gave instructions to prepare all legislative amendments and technical development proposals for increasing the efficiency of counter-terrorism efforts.
Referring to the latter, Mr. Bakondi said that we must keep up with the enemy’s level of technical development. On the subject of international cooperation between secret services, he said that it is not primarily this cooperation which should be closer, but that of counter-terrorism organisations.
It has emerged that one of the terrorists responsible for the Paris attacks was at Budapest’s Keleti railway station last year, and, referring to reports that certain terrorists had travelled across Hungary, Mr. Bakondi said that this also proves that illegal mass migration poses serious national and public security risks in Europe.