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Islamists make threats ahead of election

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Islamists make threats ahead of election
Photo: IntelCentre via DPA
09:50 CEST+02:00
German authorities have uncovered a new video threatening attacks against the country over its military engagement in Afghanistan ahead of this weekend's pivotal elections, according to officials in Berlin.

The new internet video threats are believed to come from the Taliban, an Interior Ministry spokesman said, and demand that Germany withdraw its troops from the war-torn country.

They followed a separate message that emerged earlier Friday from al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden with German subtitles demanding that Europeans leave Afghanistan. Bin Laden's message came hours after a third German-language video in a week surfaced by another al-Qaida militant, Abu Talha al-Almani - or "The German."

In the new video, a man calling himself "Ajjub" and speaking in German said: "Because of your commitment here against Islam, attacking Germany has become an attractive idea for us, the mujahideen," according to the spokesman. The militant said it was only a matter of time "before jihad destroys German walls."

Photos of famous German sites and events then appear, including Brandenburg Gate, Munich's Oktoberfest beer festival and Cologne Cathedral.

Politicians, including Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble and Defence Minister Franz-Josef Jung, are also shown, the spokesman said.

A German investigator quoted by Der Spiegel magazine's internet site described the threat as "the most concrete" against the country because of the places and people singled out. The magazine said it was the first known German-language video from the

Taliban.

But the ministry spokesman insisted the recording "does not change our evaluation of the risk of an attack."

Germans have already been shaken by bin Laden's message and other videos. Abu Talha al-Almani's video amounted to an "abstract threat" against the country, the German government said. The recording, posted Thursday, came days after the Al-Qaida operative threatened attacks in Germany over its military mission in Afghanistan.

Germany votes Sunday in an election to choose the coalition that must decide how long to keep the country's more than 4,000 troops deployed as part of NATO's mission in Afghanistan.

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