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Fears of Paris-like attacks in Germany

January 14, 2016

The Interior Ministry fears plans of Paris-like attacks by jihadis in Germany, according to the "Bild" newspaper. Documents said an attack could take place "at any time."

Deutschland Sicherheit am Flughafen Berlin-Tegel
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

Germany's mass-market paper "Bild" on Thursday reported that the Interior Ministry's confidential security appraisal warned that German state and civilian institutions, their employees as well as civilians could become targets of attacks spread over several days and locations.

"Germany is the avowed and actual target of jihadi-motivated violence," "Bild" wrote, quoting the Ministry's document and went on to cite the report as saying this potential attacks could materialize at "any time."

The scenario for Germany could resemble last year's terrorist murders in Paris of 130 people on November 13 and 13 people in January 2015, the "Bild" reported.

It added that the Ministry's assessment spoke of "multiple, time-staggered" attacks, spread partly over several days, and against "various target categories."

'Unconventional' devices

Attacks could involve the use of "unconventional explosive and incendiary devices as well as "guns or other dangerous objects."

"Bild," in its attached commentary, said Tuesday's suicide bomb attack in Istanbul that killed 10 German tourists had forced a reassessment of Germany's security situation.

Infografik Deutschlandtrend -Terroranschläge - Auswirkungen auf die Reiseplanung? ENG

The greatest danger was posed, the paper quoted the Interior Ministry document as saying, by former combatants of organizations such as "Islamic State" (IS) who had returned to Germany. IS controls a swath of northern Syria and western Iraq.

More than 300 people have returned to Germany after fighting in Syria and were regarded by intelligence services as "battle-hardened and completely brutalized," it said.

In addition Germany's Federal Criminal Police (BKA) was monitoring 420 people regarded as dangerous and prone to violence.

Infografik Deutschlandtrend - Die vielen Flüchtlinge machen mir Angst? ENG

Do more, urges US defense head Carter

On Wednesday, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, visiting troops in the US state of Kentucky, said his counterparts from seven nations, mainly from Europe, had been invited to talks in Paris next week to discuss ways to defeat IS.

Carter said he would meet with defense leaders from France, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and "will not hesitate to engage and challenge" them to get them to do more.

"Each of these nations has a significant stake in completing the destruction of this evil organization, and we must include all of the capabilities they can bring to the field," Carter said.

German reconnaissance flyovers

Last week, Germany began flying reconnaissance Tornado warplanes from Incirlik, a NATO base in southeastern Turkey, over IS-held territory in adjacent Syria.

It also sent a tanker aircraft, as well as a frigate to help protect a French aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean.

Germany has also helped supply and train Kurdish forces fighting IS in northern Iraq but has not taken a direct combat role.

ipj/sms (AFP, Reuters)