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Berlin warns against 'alarmist' terror threats

The Local · 4 Oct 2010, 17:11

Published: 04 Oct 2010 07:23 GMT+02:00
Updated: 04 Oct 2010 17:11 GMT+02:00

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The list of targets includes the luxury Hotel Adlon near the Brandenburg Gate, the German capital's central station and its landmark TV tower at Alexanderplatz, US news channel Fox News said on Sunday citing unnamed intelligence officials.

The report came in the wake of a US State Department travel alert urging Americans to be vigilant against the potential for terror attacks in Europe. The Notre Dame Cathedral and Eiffel Tower in Paris are also allegedly being targeted by terrorists.

Fox cited a senior western intelligence official as saying that the information about the target list was provided by "a German-Pakistani national interrogated at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan" and said that information was later confirmed by another senior intelligence official.

But German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Monday there was no reason to change the country's security threat level in response to US and UK travel alert warning of possible terrorist attacks in Europe.

"At the moment there are no indications of imminent attacks in Germany," de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin. "There is however a high abstract threat, and German interests at home and abroad have been in the sights of international terrorism for some time."

He said Berlin was taking all leads seriously and investigating them with high intensity.

"You can be sure that all leads are taken into account when assessing the situation and that these leads lead to appropriate measures now and in the future," de Maiziere said. "But there is no need to be alarmist."

His ministry said Berlin had been informed of advance by US authorities of the travel alert and is working in close cooperation with the security agencies of the United States and other international partners.

The US State Department issued a formal alert on Sunday urging Americans to take precautions in public places and transportation systems when travelling in Europe.

The alert - which the State Department issues regarding specific events, and is one step down from a travel warning - follows intelligence reports which suggested an attack by the al-Qaida terrorist network could be imminent.

News media in the past week reported that Western intelligence agencies had uncovered an al-Qaida plot to launch attacks in Britain, France, Germany and

the United States.

Story continues below…

The chairman of the parliament's interior affairs committee, Wolfgang Bosbach, said there had been "no indication of an attack on a concrete target at a specific


There is "no reason to panic and no reason to fundamentally strengthen security measures," he told Monday's edition of Cologne's Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

08:02 October 4, 2010 by auniquecorn
Islamist extremists are reportedly plotting attacks against Berlin's TV tower and a hotel next to the Brandenburg Gate, but the Interior Ministry has said there is no reason to change its terrorism threat level.

Yea, I don´t see no reason to change it either.
08:19 October 4, 2010 by majura
"US news channel Fox News "

Any intelligent person would know that 'Fox News' is not actual fact based news nor is it a reliable source for any information of any kind as it is unfortunately skewed and biased to such an extent that makes it unacceptable to use in any way. Outlets/persons using 'Fox News' as an information source are only exhibiting their disregard for their readers' intelligence and in fact their own.
09:05 October 4, 2010 by fd_1971
You are absolutely right ¦#39;majura¦#39; ... unfortunately there are many simple mined people in this world who believe this garbage from ¦#39;Fox News¦#39; and consider it news!!
09:28 October 4, 2010 by freechoice
yeah americans are everywhere in Europe that you randomly pick one target, one of them will get it...as for collateral damages i dun think they really care. anyway life still goes on after such events.
09:49 October 4, 2010 by dcgi
A complete non-story.
10:11 October 4, 2010 by William Thirteen
Fernsehturm vs. Hauptbahnhof - dramatic imagery vs. number of possible casualties. decisions, decisions! While of course Fox News isn't to be trusted - one hopes there will be third party verification regarding this extra intelligence source. As far as the Hotel Adlon - where were they when Michael Jackson was dangling his baby?
10:29 October 4, 2010 by auniquecorn
Man, this is crazy,

I mailed a letter this morning to tell my boss I won´t be in work today, (my phone might be tapped by terrorist).

to tell him that I don´t want to take the risk that some terrorist planted a roadside bomb along the back country roads that I drive on to get to work.

I wish the local would place an article saying that the terrorism threat level has been lowered so I can get on with my life,

Huh?, what was that? Come on honey, Lets get back in the Keller.
11:57 October 4, 2010 by wenddiver
Yah completely unbelievable, what was the name of that group that blew up the Twin Towers Again. Oh, the Hamburg cell. Probably no Al Queda threat whatsoever. The cost of waking up and taking a few precautions would probably be prohibitve any way; whats the Euro value of defending your family anyway. Definetly no threat to Europe, because they are basically mad at the Secular West right. Surely there are no secular States in Europe??? Those bombs that went off in Spain and London were probably spontaneous air combustions.
12:23 October 4, 2010 by jcbayley
In the headline, "sights" should be "sites"...
12:46 October 4, 2010 by germinator
Nice. These alerts have successfully halted the slide of the dollar against the euro. If anyone needs to convert currency, I would suggest doing it now. By next week it'll drop past $1.40.
12:53 October 4, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Fox News -- or more appropriately Faux News -- used to have a slogan: "We Report, You Decide." Well, it has reported and I have decided that it's all bullsh*t, as usual. Interesting that this nonstory was first "broken" by Sky News and the Wall Street Journal, which Like Faux News are owned by Rupert Murdoch's Newscorp. Anything Murdoch and his lackeys can do to gin up the cultural and religious wars, they will do. They are playing directly into the hands of the terrorists by fear and hate mongering. Be afraid -- be very afraid -- of Murdoch and his minions.

As for the American residents in this forum who are apparently so afraid of the barbarians at the gate, my advice would be to stay home, avoid Europe and protect your trailer parks with your AK-47s. Don't you have enough on your plate with all the Mexican invaders without worrying about Muslims in Europe?
13:54 October 4, 2010 by Frenemy
@Prufrock: loooool, nice! But regardless of how much they have on their plates, they are perfectly capable of dealing with side-dishes, especially if it advances their "agenda"! :-p
14:05 October 4, 2010 by Wobinidan
Who is putting out all these rumours and why? It doesn't help anyone AT ALL, but it might damage the tourist industry of Europe. 'Warnings' like this are a total waste of time, unless they have some kind of political motivation, like keeping people scared of the boogeyman while the government channels billions away from social programs and into the banks and businesses that are 'too big to fail'.
14:35 October 4, 2010 by domiDDD
But of course, if the US State Department did not put out a travel alert, and something did by chance happen, Who gets reamed by you guys then?
17:32 October 4, 2010 by raandy
Fox News !! what a right wing wing nut organization...Murdoch and his Tea party associates are Americas biggest problem,,All they spout is Fear and uncertainty ,in hopes of starting another war to line their already bursting coffers.Call them what you want but to me they are Fascist they share the same ideology and use the same methods we have seen before.
19:12 October 4, 2010 by michael4096
"Who is putting out all these rumours and why?"

the same guys you complain about when things do happen - its called covering your rear
20:06 October 4, 2010 by catjones
The alerts are world-wide. The targets are based on tourist destinations. The alerts remind you to be aware of your surroundings, note exits, escape routes and be aware of a 'plan' to follow if something erupts.
20:23 October 4, 2010 by veritas_69
majura et al: You're comments show not only that you are biased, but unable to think for yourselves. Fox News is not the source of the warning, but as even this article states, "the State Department issues regarding specific events.

Blaming Fox News for fear mongering, when they are simply reporting, is like blaming the weather man of fear mongering when he issues a tornado watch.

Of course, if the State Department didn't issue this warning, and something did happen, you'd probably be the first in whiner line crying about how the poor Muslim terrorists blew up your family and how "unfair" it was.
20:28 October 4, 2010 by lordkorner
prufrock 2010,thanks,you said it all for me.
21:07 October 4, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Faux News is not a news organization. It does not report news. It doesn't gather news. It is a propaganda machine masquerading (badly) as a news organization. They report, I decide. I decide not to take anything Faux News disseminates seriously.
23:03 October 4, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
I can understand the Americans being upset at our not taking this very seriously. However, you guys need to understand that terrorists on our own soil is really not anything new or terribly exciting to us. You guys got pretty unlucky with 9/11; that was a pretty harsh initiation into the world of international terrorism, after having previously only experienced (to my knowledge) home-made crazies. However, we've had Baader-Meinhof, Islamists, the Nazis, anarchists, various Freikorps and classic communists, et cetera. It's just not terribly impressive at this point.
23:58 October 4, 2010 by Frenemy
...'93 WTC, Nairobi, and Dar should have been a wake up call!!
00:10 October 5, 2010 by vb74
@der grenadier aus aachen

Thank you, that was well put and informative I had never thought about it from that perspective.


You are ridiculous, there is really nothing else to say.
00:54 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Then you are free to say nothing.
00:57 October 5, 2010 by till
Serious question - has a public warning ever preceded an actual attack? In recent memory? Leaving aside obvious warnings for regions already experiencing serious violence.

And call me crazy, but if a warning is being issued for the whole of Europe with no more information than could be gleaned from a tourist pamphlet, from a detainee who was "interrogated", I don't think it's very useful or likely to be anything more than aspirational (cf. numerous idiot "terrorists" arrested in the US).
01:17 October 5, 2010 by Ludwig von America
Fox News is a farce. Leggy blondes talking about murder and mayhem while trying to look sexy. Moronic talking heads giving their opinions instead of news. Goofy commentators telling about horrific violence one minute and then laughing and joking about some idiotic subject in the next breath. Stupid "investigative" reporters going over and over the same story for months until they beat all the life out of it. Putting "news" on Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton or some other worthless celebrities in your face constantly like it's important somehow. Basically, treating viewers lke dogs and filling up their dishes with the same flavor dog food out of a 100 lb bag every night.
01:20 October 5, 2010 by Rant&Rave
Just wondering who the primary audience of this website is...people who live in Germany or what? Surely it would be best to actually state "Hauptbahnhof" in the article since this is a real place for those of us who actually live here. If these threats have any legs, surely it's best to go with the real place names? Did I miss something? "TV tower" I get - many people call it that - but if a landmark such as Hauptbahnhof is to be rendered central station, then by the same token Alexanderplatz should be Alexander Square. I don't know anyone who lives in Berlin who doesn't know Hauptbahnhof. "Central station" belongs in parentheses after the recognised name, I'd say.
01:28 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I can't recall such an incidence. But bear in mind that these "warnings" have been going on since 9/11 for obvious political gain and as excuses to clamp down on people's constitutional rights. It has worked brilliantly in the US, leading to the passage of Patriot Acts I and II, as well as a plethora of dictatorial moves by the Bush administration, some of which have been embraced by the Obama administration. This particular "threat" is so vague as to have no effect other than to cause panic throughout the continent. Now if the government came out and said that the Adlon Hotel was going to be taken over by terrorists next week, I'd probably change my reservation to the Kempinski. Short of that, what are we supposed to do? Endure longer lines at airports? Submit to random searches on the street? Allow our phones to be tapped and our email intercepted? Go and hide in the cellar? This whole thing is a crock of shiite in my view, but it's sure got everybody's panties in a wad.
02:30 October 5, 2010 by JohnPaul44
Hello, Profrock,

I totally agree with everything in your last post, but please don't take that to mean that I agree with everything else you say!
02:32 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
I would never assume such a thing, old bean.
04:41 October 5, 2010 by ohiospartan22
I am American and I live in Germany every summer. Before I went to Germany about 6 years ago, I had no interest in leaving the U.S. Since my first experience, I absolutely love Germany and actually call it my second home. I have never and never will be scared while I am in Germany. There is bad people in Germany just like in America, but the true Germans, are great people and I profess this all the time here in the states. I'm not military, but I do support my country. Some of my best friends are German and being around I know what type of people were affected with this attack.

What sucks is that the European CNN makes it a point over in the states that says Germans were killed in these attacks. Though it's true, i know they are not what Germans represent. These people are about creating terror and this is NOT how germans are. The "real" germans are the kindest people that I have ever met.

I am 4th generation and I love the USA, but I want you Germans to know, I support you 100 percent and I know and I tell everyone here how great you have been to me and fellow Americans. God Bless Germany and thank you for being a great friend! I pray for your soldiers families just like I pray for our American's.
07:19 October 5, 2010 by proclusian
I'm just hoping this will drive the cost of trans-atlantic flights down... I would like to see my beloved Trierer Weihnachtsmarkt in December... so much nicer than American Christmas.

Still, though, I think this really illustrates a major difference between Germans and Americans: this is for all of you who are feeling the need to bluster about how the Germans aren't taking this seriously. Listen up:

Germans (and the French for that matter, contrary to popular American stereotypes) are quite serious. They just don't feel the need to make it obvious, or talk about it.

The closing of the Hamburg mosque is one example of how serious security forces operate. Another example: for all the rioting in the Banlieus a few summers ago, did you ever see it reach inside th ring around Paris, to the center of Paris? No. Did you ever ask yourself why? If not, do so now. The answer is massive (but more or less inconspicuous) security in the inner part of Paris.

Next time you take a DB train to France, and get off at Gare du l'Est, look around you. Look carefully. See any metal detectors? See any passport control? No. But watch for a while, and you will see the controls: anyone a tick darker then me (pale Irish) is often discretely pulled aside and questioned. They are watched.

Germany has DECADES of experience (as someone else noted) with terrorism. So does France. So, before you accuse the Germans of not taking something seriously, just remember that. Germans do all that the Americans do in the "homeland" and, I would venture to say, MORE. They just don't like to blab about it or upset people unnecessarily unless there is a really good reason.
12:47 October 5, 2010 by OkieinBerlin
Pas, I heard that Fox News is behind most of the terrorist attacks. It makes sense -- attacks are good for ratings, they provide ammo in Fox's never-ending war on awful liberals. But seriously, Fox itself is one of those big multinational (media !) companies that reaches into all parts of the world (perfect cover!) and Rupert Murdoch, the guy behind Fox, is actually a foreigner with ties to Middle-Eastern types -- need I say more? I can!
15:05 October 5, 2010 by Prufrock2010
In fact, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal owns a 7 percent stake in News Corp - the parent company of Fox News - making him the largest shareholder outside the family of News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch.
14:15 October 6, 2010 by dankworth
Fox news must be the real terrorists. How else do you explain the fact that they get a rise out of Prufrock2010 every time he posts? All the politically correct folks should stand up and be counted with Prufrock to petition the FCC to shut down the network before it totally robs all the left wing malcontents of the little credibility they have left.
16:09 October 6, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Extremely clever idea. The FCC should investigate them with respect to the millions Newscorp has donated to Republican campaign committees during this election cycle.

But I can see why a person of your perspicacity would rise to the defense of Faux News.
23:37 October 6, 2010 by dankworth
Every time Fox News gets your politically correct dander up Prufrock2010 we know they must be doing something right.
00:13 October 7, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Your opinion is of no moment to me, dankworth.
22:29 October 7, 2010 by veritas_69
Yeah, lets investigate...like when CBS producers directly called the Democrat HQ to see if they wanted to use the fake Bush Reserve memos. Or investigate all the reporters that give to the Dem Party. Or investigate the Jornolist scandal. Or investigate that all the liberal networks not only have the same talking points, but say those points in exactly the same way.

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