18 November 2010
Germany has increased security at airports and train stations after the government received indications of an attack by Islamist terrorists this month. There were “concrete investigative leads” that militant Islamist groups were planning attacks on Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told a press conference, but gave no details. Intelligence agents fear attacks on Christmas markets or similar events, media reported. The terror alert came only weeks after parcel bombs sent by air courier from Yemen were intercepted at airports in Dubai and Britain, including one which passed through German airspace. The presence of armed police officers was increased at airports and train stations across the country, and some state governments announced plans to dispatch more plain-clothes police officers.
Last week, US intelligence agents informed their German counterparts that al-Qaeda had sent two to four potential terrorists to Germany and Britain, the newspaper ‘Der Tagesspiegel’ reported. The information indicated that the suspected attackers were due to arrive in Germany on 22 November. De Maizière said Germany was monitoring who entered the country and that had not ruled out the possibility of reintroducing identification checks on travelers within Europe’s Schengen zone, where citizens can travel freely between countries. He said the heightened security measures would affect sites across Germany that were already considered high-risk. Some of the measures would be visible, others not.
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