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Berlin to scale back anti-terrorism police

The Local · 1 Feb 2011, 16:15

Published: 01 Feb 2011 16:15 GMT+01:00

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However the minister insisted the security boost, put in place last November, had not been a false alarm and that his announcement did not constitute an ''all-clear.''

“After coordinated efforts by federal and state security authorities, a special threat to security in Germany is no longer apparent,” de Maizière said.

De Maizière said the extra police at airports, train stations, and some tourist sites and public buildings, would be “gradually” reduced starting Tuesday. He announced the measures two-and-a-half months ago in response to what he said at the time were “concrete” indications of an imminent attack.

De Maizière stressed there was still a danger of terrorism, but this was “better pursued right now behind the scenes.”

“I therefore cannot for the foreseeable time say that an all-clear is on the cards,” he said.

De Maizière emphatically defended the police boost on Tuesday. He acknowledged he could “not say with certainty” that they had helped prevent any attack but stressed that they had “certainly had a good effect.”

The barriers surrounding the Reichstag parliament building in Berlin will remain in place for now, he said.

The heightened police presence in public was prompted by “information from one of our foreign partners,” he said. This information had forced Germany to provide for the possibility of an attack. There had also been “separate intelligence” about “efforts by Islamist groups to plan attacks in Germany,” he said.

Story continues below…

Media reports last November claimed German police had received information from a disillusioned German jihadist in Afghanistan warning of planned attacks.

As well as a strong visible police presence, many extra behind-the-scenes precautions have applied in Germany since November, he said.

DAPD/The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:51 February 1, 2011 by Frenemy
Starsky and Hutch up there look mad familiar. I'm pretty sure I always see those two lurking around the departures area Frankfurt International...
17:51 February 1, 2011 by michael4096
I'm just pleased that the not-so-recent madness is finally being put into context.

"Islam as a political ideology" is a wonderful soundbight and I'm sure it secures the pension of hundreds, even thousands, of mediocre civil servants and industrial middle managers.

It isn't sensible government policy.

The biggest danger to Germans today is the backlash from 'western' government's support of undemocratic regimes in North Africa.
18:45 February 1, 2011 by William Thirteen
i agree completely michael4096 - though i'd point out that another danger in this controversy are those plump bumpkins in uniform waddling about while fingering their burp guns...
20:25 February 1, 2011 by Bushdiver
@ William Thirteen................Yea, it sort of reminds you of the SS a bit now doesn't it?
23:36 February 1, 2011 by jamesvik
Germany should scale back Muslim immigration before they scale back anti-terrorism police.
08:32 February 2, 2011 by auniquecorn
I´m just glad they announced it to the world, I´m sure all those terrorist were just waiting for the coast is clear signal.
09:35 February 2, 2011 by LiberalGuy
I find it a little bit amusing, and a little scary, that police walk around with MP5 machine guns. But when you see how sacred and ignorant some of the people who comment on this site are (see above), maybe they feel better seeing over weight, heavily armed, police wandering around.
11:37 February 2, 2011 by LecteurX
Eh, jamesvik, how many islamist terrorist has Germany suffered, exactly? Compare to how many deadly far-right hate crimes or far left attacks? But never mind eh? it's just down to "Muslim immigration".
12:09 February 2, 2011 by jamesvik
Eh, LecteurX, why do you think the anti-terrorism police exist in the first place? Is it because of far-right hate crimes or far left attacks? No, there are anti-terrorism police for the terrorist threats. ¦quot;Efforts by Islamist groups to plan attacks in Germany.¦quot; Who's comparing crimes? We're talking about terrorists here.
12:38 February 2, 2011 by twisted
While I do not have a problem with the reduced police presence in public areas, why not just do it and not make a big deal out of it? When signal your intentions in areas like this? Seems to me that by doing so, the Interior folks are just tell terrorists or other bad guys that they can now proceed with caution. Kinda dumb in my book, but hey, what do I know/ Thanks for your time.
17:20 February 2, 2011 by LecteurX
jamesvik, whether you die because the immigrant house where you live has been set ablaze by neo-nazi whackos, or you die because you just happened to walk past a fanatical suicide bomber at the wrong moment, does not make much of a difference - you are a victim of murderous, blind hatred from organised criminal networks. For metaphysical reasons, some are labelled "terrorists", while the others are not. I call it terror threats when some supremacist loonies erm, threaten property and the lives of targeted communities.

Besides, with adequate and ideology-free research, you'll find that Germany has a long history of suffering terrorism by the way, at the hands of murderous left-wing fanatics (34 deaths due to RAF alone).

The number of foreigners killed by rightwing extremists in the last 2 decades is at least 135 (http://www.bpb.de/themen/ZV576A,0,0,Dem_Extremismus_begegnen.html), and in several of these cases, one of the common definitions of "terrorism" would be absolutely fitting. Here's one of the most commonly accepted definitions of "terrorism", from the UN General Assembly: "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them." Targeting houses inhabited by Turkish families for arson fits pretty well here, I daresay. You're not at risk at the airport, just at home...

Now it's just up to you to push for your very own definition of terrorism to be used at the UN, such as "having too many muslims hanging about" or something.
18:21 February 3, 2011 by Frenemy
Just for the record I'd like to point out that on the BfV's list of national security priorities Islamic terrorists are ranked 4th (neo-nazis and leftist anarchists are ranked higher).

11:26 February 4, 2011 by LecteurX
Thanks for this man. Without denying the serious threats posed by militant, political and fundamentalistic Islamism (and the necessity to address them), it's good to put things into perspective sometimes.

Unfortunately, I'm sure that such reasonable points will always fall on deaf ears as long as we're dealing with Sarrazin-reading, Bild-waving xenophobes barely capable of properly parroting what they've read or heard from their favourite sources of "information"...
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