Berlin takes Al-Qaeda video threat seriously

26th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

In the video message aired last week, the militants said Germans were "gullible and naive" if they thought they could "escape unscathed when they are the third occupation force in Afghanistan."

Berlin -- Berlin is seriously taking an Internet threat by presumed Al-Qaeda militants warning of imminent attacks on three German cities, the interior ministry said Saturday.

"This video confirms our belief that jihadist propaganda against Germany has taken a new dimension," the ministry said in a statement, referring to a clip posted on YouTube. "In these types of documents, Germany is explicitly threatened, in the German language."

In the video message aired last week, the militants said Germans were "gullible and naive" if they thought they could "escape unscathed when they are the third occupation force in Afghanistan."

"We are going to send an army into your cities, in particular Berlin, Cologne and Bremen," they said, cited by the German weekly Focus magazine.

"Germany and four other countries will have problems beginning in February 2009," the militants said in the video, which was pulled from the website January 12.

While a spokesman for German criminal police, BKA, said the exact origin of the video had not been identified, Focus magazine reported that it featured German converts to Islam.

Berlin announced when the threat was aired that it considered the video authentic, later identifying one of the militants as Moroccan-born Bekkay Harrach.

The German government said it was increasingly worried about terror attacks after a January 17 suicide bombing outside its Kabul embassy which killed two Afghans and wounded US and German nationals.

Germany has about 3,300 soldiers in the relatively safe north of Afghanistan as part of NATO's 50,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but Berlin decided last year to increase its contingent to 4,500 troops.

AFP/Expatica

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