Published Thursday, 31 May 2012
Jedward of Ireland congratulate winner Loreen of Sweden. (© PlanetJedward)
Forty people linked to Al Qaeda were arrested after police moved to thwart a series of planned attacks on the eve of the music competition.
Their targets reportedly included the hall where Eurovision was staged and a number of hotels where singers for the event had been staying - including the Irish twins and UK entrant Engelbert Humperdinck.
According to authorities, an attack on Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev had also been planned by the armed group, who had prepared car bombs to be planted around the host city of Baku.
A statement from Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan said: "One of the main goals of the transnational criminal armed group was to commit terrorist and provocative actions, explosions and armed attacks in Baku to cause heavy human losses on the eve of the Eurovision 2012 song contest.
"Details about this dangerous transnational armed group were not publicized in that period to save good mood on the eve of and during the Eurovision contest and not to create concerns and fear among the citizens of Azerbaijan and foreign guests.
"But responsible organisations seriously controlled the situation and took intensive security measures."
Two people were shot dead by security forces during a series of operations across Azerbaijan in the hours leading up to Eurovision.
A huge haul of weapons were recovered including grenades, machineguns, pistols, blocks of TNT, explosive detonators and bullets.
The statement continued: "As results of preventive anti-terrorist measures, as well as professionalism of the employees of the law enforcement bodies and their courage showed at the expense of their lives, the explosions and other terrorist acts, which could cause mass losses, have been decidedly prevented in time and Azerbaijan saved its image as the stable and secure country."
Jedward may have escaped the attacks, but the duo nevertheless bombed in the competition proper when they finished a disappointing nineteenth with their song Waterline.
Swedish singer Loreen was the runaway winner on 372 points.