In the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, threats are being made directly against Germany in the name of Islamic State (IS). Federal Police say they are woefully unprepared and under-equipped, and that any police action during an act of terror would be a “suicide mission” for officers.
Just a few hours after the horrific bombing that killed more than 30 people in Brussels yesterday, a Twitter account affiliated with the IS issued a dire warning to Germans.
User @Abo_omar_170 tweeted: “Bring not only the victims to the St. Pierre Hospital. There are more bombs.” In a subsequent post he added: “You will see more bombs and more deaths! Soon in Germany too!”
Experts who talked to German newspaper Bild were confident that the person behind the account, which is now deleted, has ties to Islamic State, and possibly to the Paris attacks terrorist Salah Abdesalam who was arrested on Friday.
Terrorism expert and advisor to Vladimir Putin, Sergei Markov, says that the next attack will occur in Berlin. He wrote on social media yesterday:
“France has changed it’s policy after the series of terrorist acts in Paris. And Belgium has also changed things. I think that ISIS will hold another series of terrorist attacks in a European capital this year.”
He gives a brief list of cities, with Berlin at number one followed by Frankfurt and London.
German Police meanwhile are not confident about their ability to handle a terror attack. Head of the Federal Police Union, Ernst G. Walter told German paper Die Welt that German police officers are in “mortal danger” if an attack should happen, due to a lack of training and equipment. He elaborated, saying:
“I have pointed out just a week ago that we are not equipped in the normal strip and control services for terrorist attacks. It is almost a suicide mission if we send the officers of the Federal Police with just a peaked cap, light protective vest and gun to the airports and railway stations. We need better weapons and better protection equipment.”
When asked about the capability of the German equivalent of SWAT teams he said that they could handle a terror attack but the problem was that they would likely not be the first on the scene.
“The problem lies with normal patrol officers who are now confronted, as in Brussels, as the first to respond. They are in mortal danger because we have no protection against something like Kalashnikov fire.
“Our old MP5 is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Against the military grade weapons of terrorists we urgently need new weapons like the MP7, which has higher penetration power.”
He added: “I’m most worried about our colleagues who are on duty daily at airports and railway stations.”
Mr. Walter was also adamant that police were overstretched due to the migrant crisis, after recent revelations that officers have logged in over three million hours of overtime. He said that they need short term solutions and while the number of migrants has gone down from tens of thousands to hundreds, the officers on the border have only gone from 2300 to 1500. In his words, “this can not go on.”