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Threats cloud German election and Oktoberfest

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Threats cloud German election and Oktoberfest

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Extremist threats are casting a shadow over the annual Munich Beer Festival and last minute campaigning in Germany’s general election.

Security has been stepped up across the country after videos warning of attacks by Islamic militants were posted on the web. But they have not derailed the festivities or the campaign climax. In one clip a man claiming to represent the Taliban warned of a “rude awakening” if Germans returned a government committed to keeping troops in Afghanistan. Analysts do not believe it will influence the outcome. Professor Nils Diederich of Berlin’s Free University said: “It would certainly be different if the biggest opposition party, the Social Democrats for instance, would advocate an immediate withdrawal from Afghanistan. But only the Left Party is for an immediate withdrawal and it doesn’t play such an important role for voters.” Germany has more than 4,000 soldiers in Afghanistan. A man has been arrested in connection with one of the videos.