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Europe

German Press Review: The Terror Threat

German newspapers on Friday discussed the ongoing violence and threat from terrorism in Iraq and the long search for a coach for Germany's national soccer team.

According to the Handelsblatt, the murderous groups belonging to the Islamist terror network have a strategy that is as perfidious as it is well thought out: Their violence and kidnapping have in the past weeks concentrated not on the Americans but on their allies. And as the paper noted, "this has sadly led to a split, with more and more countries deciding to openly or secretly withdraw their troops from Iraq." The ignoble pullout of the small Filipino contingent was the worst example and further encourages terrorists as the latest gloomy threats by al Qaeda against Italy indicate. Europe has so far shown determination not to give in to the demands and the paper warns this transatlantic solidarity can be the only answer to Osama Bin Laden.

The eastern German paper Märkische Oderzeitung wrote that with a few simple words al Qaeda always manages to make headlines in the forgetful western media. The paper pointed out that it was only four weeks ago that the same terrorist group that threatened Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, warned Muslims living in Italy to leave the country for a safer location. The paper said the group behind the threat the Abu-Hafs-al-Masri brigades is good at garnering publicity but wondered whether it will carry out the threat. As the daily pointed out they also took responsibility for the massive blackout in the United States even though this was later blamed on a technical failure.

Commenting on the appointment of Jürgen Klinsmann as the new coach for Germany's national soccer team the Stuttgarter Nachrichten wrote that even as a player, it was in Klinsmann's nature to tackle difficult assignments with great optimism and without making a fuss. But the paper warned the national soccer association against interfering too much at the first sign of setback. "Jürgen Klinsmann and his aides deserve a fair chance – and so does German football," the paper wrote.

The Abendzeitung from Munich was a touch more skeptical. The news of the appointment of the first national trainer with no national experience has hit like a bombshell. It's an incalculable risk for the hosts of the World Cup in 2006 wrote the daily, adding that "Doubts are huge in the soccer world and the experts’ dismay is immense." However, Klinsmann, who turns 40 on Friday, is not letting that get in the way of his almost childlike delight. He smiles and speaks of winning the championships. "One can find that either likeable, naive or ignorant," opined the paper.

Five weeks after the resignation of Rudi Völler, wrote the Lübecker Nachrichten, the elderly gentlemen of the German soccer association have finally found a solution to their problem of filling the coaching position. The paper added that it's not a terribly long time in terms of the day to day responsibilities of management. "The success of this decision will be determined on the field," said the paper.