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Germany

New Terrorist Threats Worry German Officials

A new video from al-Qaida directly threatening German soldiers has surfaced on the Internet, raising concerns in Berlin about a possible terrorist attack on German soil.

A US soldier, left, talks on a radio after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday

The Kabul attack targeted two German embassy vehicles

A German-speaker wearing a black turban and facecloth that left only his eyes visible spoke in the 30-minute video recently surfaced on the Internet.

The message, delivered by a man calling himself "Abu Talha, the German," made no direct threats against Germany, but said the country was "gullible and naive" to believe it could "emerge unscathed" from having the third-biggest contingent of foreign troops in Afghanistan.

"Letting me blow myself up in the name of Allah has been my wish since 1993," the man said. "Time is running out for the Germans. I say to the German people 'arise and become just again.'

"If Germans … naively believe they will get away with it, then the politicians are unfortunately out of their element," he said. "Your soldiers are safe nowhere."

The message, dated October 2008, appeared on the same day as a car bomb killed five people, including a US soldier, and injured US and German nationals near the German embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul.

Explicit threat against Germany

Afghan security run after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan on Saturday

The attack killed two Afghans and a US soldier, among others

The release of the video and the embassy attack have German security authorities concerned about a possible terrorist strike on Germany.

"The explicit mention of the German involvement in Afghanistan is particularly worrying," said the Interior Ministry in a statement on Sunday, Jan. 18. "This shows Germany has become a special focus for al-Qaida."

"The attack on the German embassy in Kabul and the latest Islamist videos threatening Germany make it clear that the terrorist threat has reached a new dimension," the statement said.

"Attacks in Afghanistan are increasingly targeting Germans. Germany is being named more and more in warnings published on the Internet. The latest threat explicitly warns Germany only."

German embassy bombing

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Frank-Walter Steinmeier says the embassy attack will not dissuade Germany

Saturday's attack, which was carried out with a car loaded with explosives, took place directly outside the German embassy, which is adjacent to a US military base, a UN office building and some 200 meters from the presidential palace, Afghan government officials said.

The Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said the intended target of the bombing had been two German embassy vehicles.

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the attack would not dampen Germany's commitment to the war in Afghanistan.

"We will not be put off providing help for the Afghan people by terror and shock," he said.

The German parliament approved legislation in October increasing the number of German troops serving with the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan from about 3,300 up to 4,500.

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