Authorities in Germany have increased security around the country’s rail system. A German newspaper reported on Monday that the security beef-up was sequel to a planned attack by the Al Qaeda terrorist organization.
Security has been tightened around high-speed intercity-Express (ICE) routes and at stations. While some of the measures put in place are “invisible”, plain clothes police officers have also been deployed.
According to the report in Bild, the information about the planned attacks came from the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA), which apparently intercepted a call between senior al Qaeda members several weeks ago.
The German Interior Ministry however said it regularly received information about such threats and was not planning to increase overall security.
Spokesman, Jens Teschke who spoke at a news conference said “it is known that Germany along with other Western states is a target for jihadist terrorists so we always assess warnings on a case-by-case basis but we already have a high level of protective measures and we do not plan to step these up at the moment.”
A spokesman for the German federal police said efforts were already commensurate with the “highly dangerous situation both at home and abroad” but said it had alerted its forces.
The report cited security experts as saying the attacks could include acts of sabotage on rail infrastructure or bombings on board trains.
It will be recalled that the United States closed about 20 embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa after saying it had picked up information through surveillance and other means about unspecified threats.
A planned attack on German soil narrowly escaped failed in 2006 when two suitcase bombs left on commuter trains in Cologne failed to explode.