An explosive device has been discovered next to a Christmas Market in the German city of Potsdam. The device was sent to a pharmacy in the city which is located south-west of Berlin and was found to have wires protruding from it. Police examining the device later found that the device contained explosives and experts were called in to defuse the device. Police cordoned off the area after the device was sent to a pharmacy which is located next to an open-air Christmas Market. On Twitter, police said, "The suspicion of an improvised explosive device has been confirmed." The police said that no further details were available and no arrests over the discovery have been made thus far.

A continent on high alert

Germany is on high alert over the threat of a potential Islamist attack, as is much of the continent. Last year on the 19th December, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker named Anis Amri drove a truck he hijacked into crowds at a Berlin Christmas Market which was located next to the Kaiser Willem Memorial Church in the district of Breitscheidplatz. The attack killed 12 people and seriously injured 56 other people. A continent-wide manhunt was launched following the attack and Anis Amri was tracked down and killed in a shootout with police near Milan, Italy.

The continent has suffered a wave of Islamist attacks this year. On the 17th August of this year, 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub drove a van into pedestrians on La Rambla in Barcelona, killing 13 people and injuring many others.

Nine hours later, 5 men which are believed to have been part of the same cell drove a car into pedestrians in the nearby town of Cambrils killing one person and injuring six others. The attackers were killed in a shootout with the police. In the United Kingdom, there has been a wave of Islamist terror attacks which have resulted in the deaths of 33 people and injured hundreds more.

This latest terrorist incident in Germany was first reported to authorities at about 13:30 GMT today. The motivation behind this attack is not yet known. There has also been a rise in incidents of far-right extremism inside Germany. Just last week I reported on a mayor of a town in the North Rhine-Westphalia being stabbed by a man who was opposed to Angela Merkel's open-door immigration policy which has inflamed tensions across Germany.

ISIS has released videos in recent weeks threatening attacks across Europe on the run-up to the Christmas period, including one threat to attack Christmas Shoppers in London and another video purportedly alluding to the possibility of an attack on the Vatican.

Thankfully, nobody was injured in today's incident. This latest find is likely to place an already jittery continent on even higher alert on the run-up to the festive season which will see people take to the streets in their droves in search of gifts for loved ones on the run-up to the big day. Across Europe, bollards to prevent car ramming attacks have been placed around Christmas Markets and busy areas as a form of deterrence. I think today's find shows us that sadly, our continent is going to be living with this constant threat of terrorism for a very long time.