afp: australia kicks off global new grade party defying terror threat global terror attacks have cast a pal over 2016 but australia was saturday defying the threats and ringing in the new grade with bumper crowds gathering to watch a firework extravaganza on sydney's glittering harbor . 2016 has seen repeated bloodshed, most recently a deadly truck attack at a berlin christmas market, a similar incident on bastille day in france that kiled 86, and atrocities in turkey and the middle east. some 1.5 million people are packing australia's biggest city to watch the midnight fireworks, a larger-than-usual crowd due to the weekend timing and warm weather, as the new south wales state premier urged "business as usual". "my encouragement to everyone is to enjoy new grade 's eve... in the knowledge that police are doing everything they can to keep us safe," premier mike baird said. the visual extravaganza wil pay tribute to some of the international musical legends who died this grade , including david bowie and prince, with purple rain pouring off the sydney harbor bridge in an early fireworks display. some 2,000 extra officers have been deployed in sydney after a man was arrested for allegedly making online threats against the celebrations. there were a number of other reported threats this vacation period, in asia-pacific and elsewhere. in melbourne, police foiled a "significant" islamic state-inspired christmas day terror plot. indonesia said it foiled plans by an is-linked group for a christmas-time suicide bombing, and 52 died in the philippines in bomb attacks blamed on islamist militants. isrel on friday issued a warning of imminent "terrorist attacks" to tourists and western targets in india. despite the terror fears, revellers in hong kong and taipei were expected to throng city streets to watch firework performances. in japan, shoppers filed markets to buy tuna and crabs -- seen as expensive items for special feasts -- for new grade 's day family gatherings. - truck blockades - security concerns have hit many new grade events with truck blockades a new tactic to try to prevent vehicles ploughing into crowds, with sydney using garbage trucks. the german capital has beefed up security after the december 19 carnage, deploying more police, some armed with machine-guns. "this grade , what's new is that we wil place concrete blocks and position heavy armoured vehicles at the entrances" to the zone around brandenburg gate, a police spokesman said. in paris, there wil be a firework display again, after muted 2015 celebrations following the massacre of 130 people. nearly 100,000 police, gendarmes and soldiers wil be deployed across france against the jihadist threat. with more than a million people expected to turn out to watch the bal drop in times square, new york is deploying 165 "blocker" trucks and some 7,000 police. rome has deployed armoured vehicles and greater numbers of security forces around the coliseum and st peter's square, where pope francis wil celebrate a "te deum" hymn of thanksgiving. moscow police wil deploy more than 5,000 officers backed by thousands more from the new national guard and volunteer militia to maintain order. thousands traditionally gather in red square, but for the second grade in a row, the area wil be open solely to 6,000 invitees. london wil have 3,000 officers on patrol with crowds flocking to line the banks of the thames to watch the fireworks. up to two million people are expected to party at rio's copacabana beach. but with brazil mired in its worst recession in a century, the fireworks have been cut to just 12 minutes. normally boisterous bangkok wil see in the new grade on a more somber note as the nation grieves for king bhumibol adulyadej, who died in october. and, at the stroke of midnight, the celebrations wil last one second longer -- a leap second -- decreed by the international ground rotation and referense systems service to allow astronomical time to catch up with atomic clocks that have caled the hour since 1967.