Germany intelligence knew Kabul embassy truck bomb was imminent | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 30.06.2017
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Germany intelligence knew Kabul embassy truck bomb was imminent

The embassy was warned of an imminent attack six days before it was hit by one of Kabul's most massive truck bombs, reports say. The intelligence alerts were reportedly highly specific about the nature of the attack.

Germany's intelligence agencies knew the country's embassy in Kabul was about to be hit with a devastating truck bomb, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday.

Security agencies received warnings from multiple intelligence sources several months ahead of time, Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schäfer told German news agency DPA.

As a result the embassy evacuated its staff from parts of the building, which were later destroyed by the targeted strike in May, which also killed 150 people and injured 450 others.

The confirmation came after reports from public broadcaster RBB and respected news magazine Spiegel that found Germany intelligence had specific knowledge of an attack targeting the embassy using a tanker truck five months before it happened.

In the weeks and months following there were three other intelligence reports of the attack, according to the news outlets.

The Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly warned the embassy six days before the attack that it was about to be struck with a bomb inside a tanker truck.

 

Read: Afghanistan's security situation 'has deteriorated'

The driver had fake papers, but was stopped at the gate by an Afghan security guard, who phoned the embassy to see if the truck was expected, the outlets reported.

The driver then detonated the bomb, which according to RBB, was 10 times larger than previously reported. It said there were 10 tons (22,000 pounds) of explosives in the tanker.

As a result of the attack Germany temporarily suspended its controversial deportation scheme as it conducted a security review.

Biggest Kabul attack since 2001

At the time the German Embassy in Kabul praised the Afghan security forces for stopping the bomber's truck from entering the inner part of the diplomatic enclave.

Officials were quick to blame the Taliban, but both the Taliban and the Taliban-allied Haqqani network ruled out any involvement in a wave of Kabul bombings.

"We have already condemned the (attacks). The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) is not behind them," the group's deputy leader Sirajuddin Haqqani said in an audio message posted on the group's website on Sunday.

aw/kl (dpa, AFP)

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