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Terrorist threat

June 6, 2009

Authorities in Berlin believe al Qaeda to be planning terrorist attacks on Germany and German citizens abroad ahead of general elections in September, the weekly Der Spiegel has reported.

Veiled man with machine gun next to a German flag
Germany is expected to be target of Islamist attacksImage: Montage DW/AP

The magazine's website said German intelligence officials based their assessments on a warning from the US that the leadership of the al Qaeda terrorist network was planning to attack Germans as revenge for the deployment of the country's troops in Afghanistan.

The magazine said officials believed German companies based in Algeria and German citizens in northern Africa were particularly at risk.

The security experts also warned of attacks within Germany. Unlike other European countries such as Britain or Spain, Germany has not experienced a terrorist attack in years.

The attacks were due to be carried out by a group known as "al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb" with extensive ties and connections in Western Europe.

In recent months, officials in Berlin have repeatedly warned that the country is a likely target for Islamist militants with the aim to end the German presence in Afghanistan, which is already unpopular with the German public.

There are 4,500 German soldiers taking part in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan.

Editor: Toma Tasovac