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Fearing Soleimani reprisal, Germany revises terror threat level

Fearing Soleimani reprisal, Germany revises terror threat level

Germany has revised its terror threat levels at home and abroad following the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, said the country's Interior Ministry, confirming an earlier report by a German newspaper.

Updated guidance was sent to police in Germany's 16 states by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BfV) on Friday so that they could take "appropriate security measures" in response to the developing security situation, Die Welt Sunday edition first reported.

The revision is particularly aimed at protecting US and Israeli-affiliated institutions within Germany.

Government security authorities are already on a high state of alert against a threat in many German states.

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Middle East escalation 'could increase terrorism in Western Europe'

Armin Schuster, a conservative CDU politician and home affairs expert, told Die Welt that no one should underestimate the potential effects that Soleimani's assassination might have on Germany's home security situation.

"The escalation in the Middle East could also increase the prospect of terrorism in Western Europe," said Schuster. He added that the activities of Iran in Germany had "long been a focus of the security authorities."

For Benjamin Strasser of the business-friendly Free Democratic Party, the focus should be on minimizing the risk. He said "authorities need to check whether the protection of American, Israeli, Jewish and other endangered institutions should be increased."

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The German parliament recently voted in favor of a ban on activities by the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in Germany.

In Germany, protection afforded to various organizations is arranged on a state-by-state basis. Synagogues are already protected in many states by police, but following the 2019 attempted synagogue shooting in Halle many questioned why the place of worship did not have a police guard.

kmm/cmk (AP, dpa)

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Updated : 2021-06-16 16:29 GMT+08:00