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German militants new global threat

German police and security experts believe radical Muslim communities like a Hamburg mosque linked to the 2001 attacks on the United States have produced up to 100 trained militants who now pose a major security threat.

world Updated: Oct 05, 2010 23:06 IST

German police and security experts believe radical Muslim communities like a Hamburg mosque linked to the 2001 attacks on the United States have produced up to 100 trained militants who now pose a major security threat.

Reports of eight German militants killed in a suspected US drone attack in Pakistan put a spotlight on a growing number of trained, battle-hardened jihadists emerging from Germany.

While the German government has played down the latest US and British warnings of a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in Europe, police see a growing threat from militants trained on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

With papers picturing Berlin landmarks named as potential targets the head of the main German police union warned: "We should expect attacks."

European and American counter-terrorism officials have also said that concerns about a group of about 100 German Islamists who had travelled between Germany and tribal border areas of Pakistan contributed to the latest security alert in Europe.

Security services have long kept an eye on the militant Islamist scene in Germany, especially a mosque in Hamburg which was frequented by Mohammed Atta — the leader of the group that carried out the attacks on the US on September 11, 2001.

Qaeda warns of Mumbai-style cells

Terrorist cells have reportedly been sent to Britain and Germany to launch Mumbai-style terror attacks. According to the Telegraph, a series of alerts about the plot was released after an informant, Ahmad Sidiqi, told the US interrogators that he had met Ilyas Kashmiri, linked with the September attacks in Mumbai in 2008, who informed him that he had already sent teams to Britain and Germany to carry out attacks.

Militants arrested

Two men in Marseille and one in Bordeaux were arrested in an operation against a network supplying false papers for militants returning from Afghanistan, French police sources said. In a separate operation, eight people were arrested in the region around Marseille, the sources said.