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German officials say no evidence of terror plan

German officials have assessed there is a high threat level but no concrete evidence to suggest a terror attack is being planned. Germans should not sacrifice their way of life for security, they said.

German officials have assessed there is a high threat level but no concrete evidence to suggest a terror attack is being planned. Germans should not sacrifice their way of life for security, they said.

German security officials have no concrete intelligence to suggest an attack is being planned on public events such as football games, concerts, or Christmas markets, but have urged citizens to be aware of suspicious behavior or packages.

"It remains our assessment that in Germany we have a serious threat-level, but beyond that we don't have any concrete evidence of another target right now," the head of Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office Holger Munch said on Wednesday at a security conference.

The comments come a day after a friendly

Germany-Holland football match was cancelled due to a bomb-scare.

The security scare prompted concerns Germans would be forced to

give up public events and freedom in the name of heightened security

following the terror attacks in Paris.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere told top security officials on Wednesday that Germans would not have to give up their freedoms and way of life in exchange for security. He urged citizens to go to concerts, films, football matches and the Christmas markets that are sprouting up around Germany this time of year.

De Maziere said officials could not always share details of counter-terror investigations and intelligence with the public, but that

security forces were well-prepared and on alert for any potential threats.

Meanwhile, as thousands of Christmas markets open around the country their security will be reviewed, said the head of the Interior Ministers Conference and Interior Minister of Rhineland-Palatine Roger Lewentz.

Police are at a high readiness level and appropriate security measures would be implemented around the Christmas markets, but in a way that citizens "don't feel impacted," Lewentz explained.

He urged citizens to remain calm and aware of their surroundings, calling the police if for example there is a suspicious bag or individual.

Refugees not a threat

German officials said the hundreds of thousands of refugees coming from places like Syria and Iraq pose a challenge but not necessarily a threat.

Munch underlined that there is "no current credible intelligence" to suggest jihadist groups are infiltrating alongside refugees, but he did describe 60 cases of Salafists trying to recruit young refugees once they are in Germany.

He described recruitment of young refugees by jihadists once they are in Germany as a "big risk," but also pointed to the danger of right-wing extremism and attacks on refugees as a growing challenge.

cw/jil (epd, DPA)

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