U.S. and German officials fear terrorists are in the advanced planning stages of an attack on U.S. military personnel or tourists in Germany.
Law enforcement officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com that U.S. air marshals have been diverted to provide expanded protection of flights between Germany and the United States.
"The information behind the threat is very real," a senior U.S. official told ABC News.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble told reporters, "The danger level is high. We are part of the global threat by Islamist terrorism."
Of particular concern, according to U.S. and German law enforcement officials, is Patch Barracks, the headquarters for U.S. European Command, near Stuttgart.
Security at all U.S. military and diplomatic facilities has been increased in the last month following reports that suspected terrorists had conducted surveillance of the Patch Barracks facility.
"The attack would be designed to create high numbers of casualties among both Germans and the U.S. military," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterror official.
The 9/11 hijackers planned their operation out of Hamburg, Germany, and the country continues to be known as a staging area for al Qaeda and groups affiliated with it.
"There are 300 to 500 people who are suspected to be part of al Qaeda cells in Germany," said Col. Andrew Pratt (Ret.) of the George Marshall Center in Germany.
Read the rest...
Generally, alert levels rise and people are given partial reasons without any specific intelligence. The amount of details that are being released about this imminent attack is startling and leads me to believe that it is something they have been gathering information on for a while now and that the intelliegence they have warrants a very public announcement.
It also leads me to believe that they haven't caught all that are in the terror cell/cells or they wouldn't be making these announcements nor taking the precautions that they seem to be taking.
This is a situation we need to keep our eyes on and I will be.
So, before I hit publish, I see that Hot Air has some additional information about how Germany already has its hands full preparing for radical left wing terrorism with the G8 summit next month.
BERLIN, May. 9 (UPI) -- Ahead of June's Group of Eight summit in Heiligendamm, German security officials are cracking down harder on radical left-wing groups, and Berlin has received tips that attacks are set before and during the high-profile meeting.
Wednesday morning two police vans stopped, tires screeching, in front of the Mehringhof, a large left-wing cultural center and office building in Berlin's Kreuzberg district. About 20 agents entered the building and searched several of its offices. The Mehringhof, in the 1970s a key home of the Berlin squatter scene, today houses a bike shop, migrant aid organizations and several far-left groups that publish magazines and books.
While officers on the scene did not comment, it surfaced later Wednesday that the move was part of a massive series of coordinated police raids in which some 880 agents of Germany's Federal Criminal Office and 20 agents of the Federal Prosecution Office searched roughly 40 properties in six German states because of evidence that terrorist groups planned attacks before and during the G8 summit in Heiligendamm, northeastern Germany.
The raids in Hamburg, Berlin, Brandenburg, Bremen, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony came as measures in two separate investigations, Andreas Christeleit, spokesman of the German Federal Prosecution Office, told United Press International Wednesday in a telephone interview.
One investigation was launched because of the "suspicion that a terrorist group has been created to violently disrupt the G8 summit," Christeleit said, adding that the other investigation was part of measures against the so-called Militant Group, a far-left terror organization responsible for some 25 attacks since 2001. Officials believe that both groups plan attacks before and during the G8 summit to "disturb or even prevent" the meeting, the prosecution office said in a Wednesday statement.
Some 18 known people and more unknown individuals are being investigated for creating a new terror group specifically in opposition to the G8 summit, the statement said. The new group is believed to be responsible for 12 arson attacks in 2006, all motivated by anti-globalization aims.
Read the rest of Hot Air's analysis then click and read the rest of the United Press International's article about the G8 summit, both are well worth the click.
Then head over to Captain's Quarters where he says what I said above, but he says it much more elequently that I did. (DAMN HIM)
This is an unusual warning, both in its existence and its specificity. Alert levels go up occasionally, depending on the intel received, but it's rare to hear about the potential targets. This sounds like the Americans and Germans have very specific and reliable intel about a particular cell, and that they have begun to close it down. That kind of action can prompt terrorists to immediately attack when they lose up-channel communication, which may be what prompted this warning.
I will update this blog on this as information comes out.