Germany is on edge about the threat of terrorist attacks on its soil.
German authorities warned on Friday of an increased threat of Islamic terrorist attacks in the country, including by suicide bombers, based on new evidence similar to that obtained before the September 11 attacks on the US.
Wolfgang Schäuble, interior minister, said the threat "was serious", as officials called for vigilance by the public and by German troops and police in Afghanistan.
The warning was based on evidence including a new terror video by the Taliban in Afghanistan, in which a group of masked alleged suicide bombers was instructed to go to Germany.
The video, made on June 9, according to German officials, also warns of suicide bombers travelling to the US, Canada and England. The video was broadcast recently by ABC, the US television network.
Once again, the terrorists threatening US interests aren't Iraqis working for Saddam Hussein, but rather, Europeans:
This month, three Germans with suspected links to terrorist networks were arrested in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to German officials.
Up to a dozen alleged German extremists are believed to be in training camps on the Afghan border, the interior ministry says.
The Germans report that there is a chilling similarity with events prior to 9/11:
The warning was issued on Thursday evening in Berlin at a rare on-the-record intelligence briefing for journalists, and repeated on Friday by government officials and police.
August Hanning, deputy interior minister and former head of the BND intelligence agency, said the current situation was similar to summer 2001, "when obscure threats surfaced which as we know became reality".
The right-wing blogosphere will no doubt be going ape about the fact that Germany is under threat of a terrorist attack even though it did not participate in the invasion of Iraq.
The video linked the threat of suicide attacks to the presence of foreign troops in Afghanistan. Mr Hanning said the threat could have been aimed at derailing a decision by the German parliament to extend the deployment of German troops in Afghanistan in the autumn. Three German soldiers in Afghanistan were last month killed by a suicide bomber.
Right-wingers will no doubt remain completely oblivious to the fact that Al Qaeda has stated on many occasions its desire to strike at European countries who were involved with the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan. Al Qaeda tends not to split hairs about this. If your troops are occupying an Islamic country you're a target. If you're like the Swiss or the Swedes and keep your troops at home you can rest easy.
Still, if these attacks actually take place we will no doubt be subject to anguished diatribes from the right that it was the German "way of life" that made it a target for Al Qaeda. This is what compelled me to place a graphic of German beer (by Charlene Audrey) at the beginning of this post. After all, it must be German beer that Al Qaeda wants to eliminate from the face of the earth. German troops in Afghanistan would obviously have nothing to do with it at all.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!