Germany on high alert as government warns of attack
Issued on: Modified:
Police armed with machine guns are patrolling railway stations and airports in Germany after the government raised security levels in response to a tip-off of an attack planned this month.
"From today, there will be a visible police presence. I thought it should be explained to citizens", said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere at a hastily called press conference in Berlin.
"There will also be a variety of measures that will not be visible. There is reason for concern, but no reason for hysteria".
"According to information from a foreign partner which came to us after the Yemen incident, we suspect a planned attack is due to be put into action at the end of November," De Maiziere said.
Last month authorities discovered two US-bound parcel bombs originating from Yemen, one of which went through Cologne airport in western Germany.
Citing security sources, the Tagesspiegel daily said the United States had told Berlin that between two and four Al-Qaeda operatives were on their way to Germany and Britain to attempt attacks, and that German Christmas markets may be targeted. The paper says the operatives were expected to arrive in Germany on November 22 via India or the United Arab Emirates.
Germany has nearly 5,000 Troops in Afghanistan, and has never experienced an attack by Muslim extremists on its own soil.
Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morningSubscribe