Threat to US base in Germany
11 September 2007, Trier, Germany (dpa) - Security at a US airbase in Germany was stepped up Tuesday following an anonymous telephone threat to bomb the sprawling site on the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
11 September 2007
Trier, Germany (dpa) - Security at a US airbase in Germany was stepped up Tuesday following an anonymous telephone threat to bomb the sprawling site on the sixth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
The threat to the airbase at Spangdahlem in the western German state of Rhineland-Palatinate was made during a telephone call to the base's US military police office on Monday evening.
German civilian police took no chances and launched a huge security operation set to last throughout Tuesday, but said they did not believe there was any connection to a plot by Islamists that was smashed in Germany last week.
Police said there was no "concrete threat" to the public or the base, and the security operation was a precaution on account of the anniversary of the terrorist hijack attacks on New York and Washington.
Tracing the anonymous caller was a top priority, they added.
Iris Reiff, a spokeswoman for the base, said the caller had spoken of an attack on Tuesday afternoon.
"We are taking this call very seriously," she said, adding that checks at the entrance were stepped up "to ensure the safety of our military personnel and the employees."
The caller, speaking German with a foreign accent, possibly Turkish or Russian, talked about being joined by at least four accomplices and spoke of using "bombs" in the plural, German police said.
Last week, Germany arrested a three-man Islamist cell alleged to have bought chemicals to make bombs for attacks on US facilities in Germany.
Spangdahlem Air Base is home to around 14,000 people and is one of the US Air Force's main sites in Europe operating fighter jets. Another US base, at Ramstein, Germany, is primarily for transport squadrons.
US security forces patrol within the base and German police are responsible for security outside the perimeter.
Subject: German news