Germany: Security services warn of possible Hezbollah attacks

Berlin, 11 August (AKI) - Militant Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah could launch damaging terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, according to a report by the country's security services.

Around 900 Hezbollah militants have moved to Europe and have formed in 'sleeper cells'. Such Hezbollah-linked cells could be present in Italy, France and The Netherlands as well as in Germany, said the report.

Unlike European countries such as Spain or Britain, Germany has not suffered a major recent attack on its own soil.

But Germany's Federal Criminal Police (BKA) chief Joerg Ziercke said on Sunday that investigators had foiled seven plots, including attacks planned by three men arrested in the western Sauerland region last year who authorities believe were targeting US installations in Germany.

Ziercke made the remarks in an interview German daily newspaper Der Tagesspiegel on Sunday.

Altogether, there are currently 200 investigations linked to Islamic terrorism being conducted by the BKA, Ziercke told the Tagesspiegel, saying that the danger has therefore in no way diminished.

He said a "a single-digit number of militants" had returned to Germany from training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan and were among around 100 suspects considered a threat," he said.

More than 50 militants had travelled from Germany to training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan run by the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the Uzbek splinter group the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), Ziercke stated.


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