Government Says No Imminent Terror Threat, `Alarmist' Response Not Helpful
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the government has no evidence of an imminent terrorist threat, rejecting U.S. media reports that tourist attractions in central Berlin are targeted as “nothing new.”
“There is no reason to be alarmist at this time,” de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin today. The authorities have studied all the available intelligence and “the conclusion overall is that there’s no concrete evidence of imminent attacks in Germany.”
The government takes any indication of threats “very seriously and pursues it very intensively,” de Maiziere said. While there remains a “high abstract threat” to German interests at home and abroad, there is no need to step up domestic security in public places, he said.
The U.S. yesterday warned Americans traveling in Europe to be vigilant following weeks of discussion within the Obama administration about threats of an attack by an al-Qaeda- affiliated terrorist group.
De Maiziere, who spoke yesterday with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, said that the U.S. issued travel rather than a more serious travel warning. A report on Fox News that a “Mumbai-style massacre” was being plotted by terrorists targeting Berlin landmarks including the Brandenburg Gate and the television tower is “nothing new,” he said.
“The targets of attack mentioned in American media today were already mentioned over a year ago,” de Maiziere said.
While the intelligence authorities are sifting all the evidence, “I cannot comment on all these measures so as not to put them at risk,” he said.
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