Germany lifts terrorism alert

15th January 2008, Comments 0 comments

The alert was issued two days ago after officials learned that Islamic extremists were targeting German installations.

Berlin (dpa) - Germany's federal police force Monday lifted a terrorism alert triggered by reports that Islamic militants planned to target the Ministry of Justice and other installations.

"An attack can be ruled out on the basis of the information we have at our disposal," a spokeswoman for the Federal Crime Office (BKA) in Wiesbaden said without giving further details.

The alert was issued on Saturday, a day after a Lebanese security source told media an that alleged al Qaeda figure suspected of involvement in attempted train bombings in Germany had been arrested in Lebanon after threatening to carry out attacks in Germany over the next three months.

Mohammed Ndoub, a Syrian national, was arrested after issuing threats to the German embassy in Beirut via a public telephone.

Lebanese police assessed the claims as broadly plausible. German media said the threat suggested the German armed forces, security agencies or justice ministry might be the targets.

Ndoub had told the embassy the attacks would be "to avenge" the recent conviction in Beirut of one accused and the ongoing trial in Germany of the other for the failed July 31, 2006, bombings of two German passenger trains.

One would-be bomber, Jihad Hamad, was sentenced in Lebanon last month to 12 years imprisonment, while a second, Youssef al-Haj Dib, is currently on trial in Germany.

The two had placed two explosives-laden suitcases on the trains, which failed to detonate owing to technical faults.

German investigators said the planned explosions near Hamm and Koblenz would have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people and possibly been on a larger scale than the July 2005 London transport attacks.

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