The unprecedented level of security in Germany is expected to last until at least the end of the year.
Armed police were deployed at stations and other public places on Wednesday after intelligence reports suggested an imminent terrorist attack. Many Europeans have become used to seeing such heavily-armed officers in public, but this is a shock in Germany.
This morning, the head of the police union said Germany was facing the biggest challenge in its post-WWII history. Rainer Wendt promised a highly-visible security presence in the run-up to Christmas.
It follows yesterday’s discovery of a suspicious package at Namibia’s Windhoek airport, which was apparently destined for a Munich-bound flight. This lunchtime, Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the bag was a fake, containing no explosives, and was part of an American operation to test security measures.
Also today, Germany’s mass-market Bild newspaper said four suspected Islamic militants, two Indians and two Pakistanis, are thought to be in Germany, although their names and faces are not known.
German 'state of emergency' til 2011: official