Europe warns against alarmism as Japan joins US terror alert
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Germany and France on Monday warned against “alarmism” over the alleged threat of terror attacks in Europe, as Japan joined Britain and the US in issuing a travel alert to its citizens. Although France, Germany and Italy say they have no specific indications of imminent attacks, the European countries named in earlier reports of a terror plot remain on high alert.
"At the moment there are no indications of imminent attacks in Germany," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin.
There is “a high abstract threat, and German interests at home and abroad have been in the sights of international terrorism for some time", he said. "But there is no need to be alarmist."
France’s Tourism Minister Hervé Novelli said on Monday that it was necessary to be “vigilant but without excessive alarmism”. There is no indication of a drop in tourism since the US launched its latest alert, he reported.
“All the affected countries have convergent analyses on the high level of threat in Europe,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Bernard Valero said on Monday, pointing out that the UK, France and Germany were already on high alert.
Britain on Sunday warned its citizens travelling in France and Germany that there is a high risk of attacks, while Japan issued the same warning on Monday.
Paris’s Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral are said to be in a list of potential targets listed in a leaked Western security services report, according to the US TV channel Fox News.
The number of alerts in France has risen since September but, so far, they have proved to be hoaxes.
Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine reports that Al-Qaeda number three Sheikh Yunis al-Mauretani planned the attacks and talked about them to Ahmad Siddiqui, a German national currently held at the US-run Baghram air base in Afghanistan, who has been named as the source of the information.
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