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25/09/2016

Berlin warns of Paris-style attacks in Germany

Justice & Home Affairs

Berlin warns of Paris-style attacks in Germany

Attacks carried out using firearms, as well as improvised explosive devices, are considered to be the most likely threats.

[Jayel Aheram/Flickr]

According to German media, the goverment has warned that attacks such as those carried out in Paris could happen in Germany. EurActiv Germany reports.

Bild cited a recent report by the ministry on the security situation within the republic. In the classified document, it is reported that “Germany has been clarified as a genuine target of jihadi-motivated violence,” which could “happen at any time in the form of violence against government and civilian facilities, as well as government officials and the public”.

Specifically, the report warned against Paris-style attacks. It made mention of “multiple attacks, carried out over several days,” with firearms and explosives being the most likely weapons of choice.

>>Read: German lawmakers rush to respond to Cologne attacks

The newspaper added that “attacks using improvised explosive devices” or “firearms” were most likely. The German ministry’s analysis of potential attackers revealed that “lone individuals or autonomous groups” posed the greatest risk, with former Syrian-fighters being considered the most potent threat.

Call for unity

The Christian Democratic Party’s (CDU) interior expert, Clemens Binninger, has called for greater and closer cooperation between European police and intelligence agencies in order to counter the threat of extremist groups. “We will only be able to tackle this threat if we work together better, faster and more efficiently,” he told German television. Binninger emphasised the need for better information exchange, with data on terrorists being made available to everyone.

>>Read: Verhofstadt calls for creation of EU intelligence agency

“My impression is that many countries are still sitting on their data,” he said. For him, this is not enough: “We must be willing to work within a new dimension of terror with new structures.”

Refugees to be vetted?

The Rheinische Post reported that CDU and Free Democratic Party (FDP) politicians in North Rhine-Westphalia have called, in the wake of the Cologne assaults, for refugees to be given security checks.

“The lack of information about refugees at both a communal and regional level is a security risk for the general public. I am calling for comprehensive security checks on all refugees living in North Rhine-Westphalia, in order to be able to provide the local authorities with reliable information about convicted persons or individuals under suspicion,” Gregor Golland (CDU) told the Rheinische Post.

>>Read: Germany to issue refugees with identity cards

FDP domestic policy spokesperson Marc Lürbke said that “municipalities and the region must know who is living here. The authorities must also know what crimes have been committed by refugees and whether they are being investigated. Therefore, we need appropriate, reliable information about this nationwide security concern.”

Peter Biesenbach (CDU) also thought that such a measure was “desirable”, but expressed doubts about whether it would actually be feasible.

German-dead increases

Meanwhile, visiting the scene of the recent Istanbul bombing, German Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere said there were no indications Germans had been deliberately targeted, and that he saw no reason for people to change travel plans to Turkey, adding that Germany stood resolutely by Turkey’s side in the fight against terrorism.

>>Read: No evidence that Germans were singled out in Istanbul bombing

“If the terrorists aimed to disturb, destroy or jeopardise cooperation between partners, they achieved the opposite. Germany and Turkey are becoming even closer,” he said, adding there was no link to Germany’s role in the fight on terrorism. 

Berlin has now raised the death toll of its citizens to ten, with five other Germans in a critical situation.