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Uncertainties surround Hanover terror threat

A German newspaper has reported that the cancellation of last Tuesday's Germany-Netherlands soccer match in Hanover narrowly prevented a terror attack. But other German media have contradicted this claim.

The report in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung" on Sunday said that German security authorities had been warned by French intelligence of a "meticulously planned terror attack" on the stadium in Hanover where

the canceled match

was to have taken place.

According to the report, the French intelligence service provided names of the members of the group that was planning the attack on Tuesday, which was said to have involved detonating three bombs in the stadium, one at a bus stop and another at a railway station. The paper said the names had been unknown to German intelligence until then, and that the people concerned were being sought by police.

The timely cancellation of the match might have led the group to postpone its attack, which could be why no explosives were found in the northern German city, according to the paper.

However, the report said German security authorities still considered there to be a high threat of a terrorist attack in the country.

Absage Fußball Länderspiel Deutschland Niederlande

Fans were made to leave the stadium less than two hours before the match began

False information?

German public broadcaster ZDF has, however, cast doubt on the existence of a terrorist cell in Hanover with plans for such an attack.

Citing security authorities, it said the warning from the French side was probably based on the kind of false information that intelligence services receive almost every week.

The German chief federal prosecutor has been investigating the matter since Thursday.

Tuesday's match was called off because of concrete warnings of an explosives attack, amid heightened terror fears following the bloody jihadist attacks in Paris on November 13.

tj/cmk (dpa, AFP)

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