Germany reconsiders terror risk

Security measures are being stepped up in Germany after Iinterior Mminister Thomas de Maiziere said there were clear indications of a terror plot targeting the country. BBC Berlin correspondent Stephen Evans looks at Germany’s evolving position on the risk of attacks.

The minister has not given the specifics of whatever plot his security services think they now have information about, but he did bring different strands together.

Firstly, he said information had come from another country: “Since the middle of 2010, the security services have noticed increased indications that the terrorist organisation al-Qaeda has been planning attacks in the United States, in Europe and in Germany.”

He said officials now had more details which justified increased concern about “sustained efforts” to mount an attack, both within Germany and outside: “It is the unanimous assessment of the security services that we are currently dealing with a new situation.”

He also indicated that the information emerged from the attempt to bomb two aircraft on their way to Chicago last month – both with printer cartridges loaded with explosive. One of the aircraft went through Cologne airport with the bombs undetected.

That German link may or may not be pure coincidence.

It does, though, seem that there were warnings of those attempted attacks from intelligence sources in the Middle East.

So the new warning raises the question of whether those original sources of information for the bombs destined for the US now have new information about a new plot involving Germany.

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