Germany: Parliament closed to visitors amid terror scare

Berlin, 22 Nov. (AkI) - Security forcers on Monday close Germany's parliament in Berlin to the public following media reports at the weekend that the building was among several targets Islamist militants were planning to attack, Germany's DPA news agency reported.

The Reichstag building's glass dome and roof terrace, popular with tourists, were closed to the public until further notice, according to the parliament's press office. The panoramic viewing area attracts up to 10,000 people a day.

Other security measures around the building, visited annually by about one million people, have also been increased.

Visitors to the Reichstag could only enter only as part of pre-arranged groups.

Additional barricades have been in place outside the building which houses the Bundestag, or lower house of parliament, DPA reported.

A government official said 60 police officers were stationed outside.

Germany's Der Spiegel news magazine reported at the weekend that Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups were planning an attack on the Reichstag. They cited an informer as saying the Reichstag was only one of the targets of the planned attack.

German security officials have played down the reports in Der Spiegel. Joerg Ziercke, head of the Federal Crime Office, said: "We have concrete details of suspects, but no concrete details that an attack will be carried out at a specific time and place."

Authorities last Thursday announced there were indications of a planned Mumbai-style terrorist attack on Germany.

Authorities have since boosted security measures at airports and train stations. Germany has been targeted by several earlier terror plots and threats.

An Al-Qaeda linked Uzbek terrorist group reportedly threatened to attack the “criminal” German government and German Jewish citizens in a video posted on the Internet in April, 2009.


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