Security forces in Germany are on a heightened state of alert, aware of an increased threat of terrorist attack in the run up to the general election next week.
The country’s Interior Ministry said militant groups like al-Qaeda could use the election as a platform to punish Germany for its deployment of troops in Afghanistan. Security officials say a video featuring a suspected al-Qaeda militant played a role in raising the alert level. In it, Germans are warned not to vote to extend the war, otherwise they would wake up to a shock after the election. He threatened attacks in Germany for up to two weeks following the vote. Now there is a greater high-profile police presence at airports, railway stations and other public places like shopping centres. Elmar Thevessen, a German terrorism analyst said: “There might be another video from Osama bin Laden which might also address the German people. But the security authorities are telling us it’s nothing but propaganda. You have to take these things seriously and they’ve tightened security. But there’s no precise evidence that Germany will be attacked any time soon.” Germany has a parliamentary mandate to send four and a half thousand troops to Afghanistan as part of the NATO force there. Unlike Britain and Spain, there has not been a major attack on German soil in recent years. Security authorities there are trying to ensure that the federal elections will not provide terrorists with an opportunity to score a propaganda coup.