German police counter reports on attacks planned on Euro 2016 matches | News | DW | 04.06.2016
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German police counter reports on attacks planned on Euro 2016 matches

Germany's police chief has said there is no concrete intelligence concerning plans for an attack on the Euro 2016 football tournament. The comments contradict media reports citing internal police documents.

There is "no concrete intelligence indicating plans for an attack" on the Euro 2016 football tournament set to begin next week in France, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) chief Holger Münch said in an interview with the "Frankfurter Allgemeine" newspaper on Saturday.

The comments appear to contradict media reports last month citing an internal BKA report on a possible attack at the games, which are expected to draw up to a million fans from June 10 to July 10.

Münch clarified the BKA had made an internal security assessment, but contrary to reports, had not issued a terror warning.

BKA-Chef Holger Münch

BKA chief Holger Münch

"We didn't do that," Münch said. "We gave no terror warning."

Citing a BKA report, German newspaper "Bild" last month said the police force had warned of a possible "symbolic" attack on teams playing in the games, and on fans. It also warned of possible "irrational, fanatical lone wolves" carrying out a terror attack.

The report coincided with a warning from Europol Director Rob Wainwright that the football tournament could be a target for the self-proclaimed "Islamic State." The extremist group was behind the attacks in Brussels and Paris that put Europe on edge and triggered stronger security measures.

The United States this week also warned its citizens of possible terror attacks surrounding the football championship.

Authorities in France have beefed up security ahead of the games and upped intelligence sharing. German police are also increasing security controls along roads to France for the games.

Cooperation between France and Germany led to the arrest this week in Germany of three Syrians alleged to have been planning an attack in Düsseldorf. The plot was foiled with the help of French intelligence after a fourth suspect turned himself in.

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