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Cablegate: Security Services On Alert After Al Qaida Videos

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RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHRL #1172/01 2641659
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211659Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5262
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 0536
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0662
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0037
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0038
RUEHRL/USDAO BERLIN GE
RUKAAKA/USAREUR ACE DARMSTADT GE
RUKAAKC/UDITDUSAREUR HEIDELBERG GE
RUCXONI/ONI WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/HQ USEUCOM LO WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/HQ USAFE RAMSTEIN AB GE
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BERLIN 001172

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EUR AND S/CT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER PREL PGOV PHUM KIRF KISL GM
SUBJECT: SECURITY SERVICES ON ALERT AFTER AL QAIDA VIDEOS
THREATEN GERMANY

REF: BERLIN 862

BERLIN 00001172 001.2 OF 002


1. SUMMARY: German security services are on alert following
the appearance of two new Al Qaida videos featuring a dual
German-Moroccan citizen who threatens Germany with
repercussions if German voters do not vote in the upcoming
federal elections for a new government that will withdraw
German forces from Afghanistan. The threats are reminiscent
of the 11 March 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid that
reportedly influenced the Spanish parliamentary elections and
ultimately led to a withdrawal of Spanish military forces
from Iraq. German authorities are taking the threat very
seriously and have increased their presence at airports,
train stations, and other public venues. End Summary.


2. On September 18, media reported on the appearance of a
27-minute long video entitled "Security - a Shared Fate" on
multiple Islamist extremist websites featuring Bekay Harrach,
a 32-year old dual German-Moroccan citizen. Harrach has
appeared in several Al Qaida videos over the past year and
security authorities believe he is located in the
Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions. Speaking in German,
Harrach states that "If the people choose to continue the
war, they have passed judgment on themselves. The
parliamentary election is the only opportunity for the people
to influence its country's politics. When the last German
solider is withdrawn from Afghanistan, the last mujahedeen
will be withdrawn from Germany." Harrach continues: "If,
however, the German people do not want to induce the majority
of the parties up for election to withdraw the soldiers from
Afghanistan, then there will be a terrible awakening after
the election."


3. German security services are taking this most recent
threat very seriously and have further added to already
enhanced pre-election security measures. Federal Interior
Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned a security conference in
Berlin last week of the danger of attacks ahead of the
election and, following the appearance of the video, the
Interior Ministry released a statement indicating that the
security services are on a higher state of alert because of
the election. A police spokesperson added that "Al Qaida's
direct threats to Germany have taken on a new quality since
the beginning of the year." In response to indications of
increased activity and travel among terrorist suspects in the
past months, the government implemented a number of new
security measures earlier this summer. The measures, which
are similar to some of those put in place for the 2006 World
Cup, include enhanced passenger checks at airports, increased
surveillance of suspected Islamists, and outreach to colleges
and universities to identify signs of radicalization (see
reftel).

4. On September 20, media reported on the appearance of a
second video featuring Harrach. The second video is 40
minutes long and entitled "Oh Allah, I love you." The video
does not contain specific threats to Germany or any other
country, rather it calls upon Muslims to "free themselves
from sin" by joining and supporting jihad against western
occupiers in Afghanistan.


5. Media quoted Interior Minister Schaeuble as warning
against a change in the country's policies on Afghanistan,
saying the Bundeswehr's presence there is not the cause of
terrorist attacks. SPD parliamentarian Dieter Wiefelspuetz
said such threats will not change Germany's Afghanistan
policy: "We will not allow anybody to bomb us in a certain

BERLIN 00001172 002.2 OF 002


direction."
Murphy

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