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German policeman with a rifle patroling a train station
German authorities have stepped up security in response to the threatImage: picture-alliance/ dpa

New terror threats

September 20, 2009

There's been a fresh Islamist threat to Germany via a second Internet video since Friday. This has raised new concerns that al-Qaeda-linked terrorists may be trying to scare German voters before next weekend's polls.


Thirty-two-year-old Bekkay Harrach reportedly appears once again in an Internet video to warn Germans of a possible terror attack.

Germany's BKA federal police confirmed in Berlin on Sunday that a new message had appeared, but added only that it contained no specific threat. A BKA spokeswoman said the content still had to be analyzed.

Police said an audio message was posted under the title "O Allah! I love you". Harrach, a German of Moroccan parentage, is said to appear veiled in a series of photographs.

According to the BKA, which has confirmed the authenticity of the tape, Harrach speaks in German and his message is addressed to Germany but does not constitute a specific threat.

Security stepped up

The latest video warning came even as federal police officers wearing bullet-proof vests and toting sub-machine-guns fanned out to patrol airports, major railway stations and the key streets in the capital Berlin. The boost in security came after the first terror video was posted on the Internet on Friday.

Thirty-two-year-old Bekkay Harrach in a still from Friday's video
In the first video posted on Friday Harrach warned Germans not to vote for any of the parties endorsing the Afghanistan missionImage: AP

In that first video, Harrach had said that Germany would face a "rude awakening" if it did not withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

By all accounts, the German government is taking such video threats very seriously, especially given that they come in the wake of growing signs that the al-Qaeda network may be preparing for an attack on German targets.

The Interior Ministry confirmed that they have adapted the security levels to the new situation. "Since the start of the year, threats against Germany from al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations have increased to a whole new level," the ministry says on its website.

"The election provides a specific focus for the propaganda and operational activities of terrorist groups."

Editor: Andreas Illmer

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