Al Qaeda has begun an online propaganda campaign, targeting German-speaking Muslims with increasing amounts of terror-related content, German security officials have told CNN.
And while there is no evidence of specific plans against Germany and Austria, German State Secretary of the Interior August Hanning has said he is worried that the authorities "will not be able to thwart all terror plots in the future."
Jihadist videos obtained by CNN, and narrated and subtitled in German, call on German-speaking Muslims to join the "Holy War" against what they call an "American led coalition against Islam that Germany and Austria are a part of."
CNN has also seen excerpts of what German intelligence officials say is a 16-hour long, professionally produced bomb-making tutorial.
While the video is narrated in Arabic, German officials say it is so well produced that even non-Arabic speakers can understand it. The tutorial instructs viewers in the production of various forms of homemade explosives; German officials say these bombs, if produced according to the instructions, would work and could be potentially devastating.
Last summer three men were arrested in Germany for allegedly plotting bomb attacks against Americans resident in the country. Two of the men were German converts to Islam and one was a Turk living in Germany.
The German Interior Ministry has said since that it is worried al Qaeda might be preparing to make attacks in Germany, although it does not want to create panic and believes there is no evidence of an imminent outrage.
Germany has so far escaped the type of large-scale al Qaeda terror attack that has hit other parts of Europe such as Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005.
Terrorism expert Guido Steinberg, from the Berlin-based Center for Research and Politics, told CNN al Qaeda seemed to think that attacks on German soil could provoke Berlin to withdraw its 3,000 soldiers from northern Afghanistan. "Al Qaeda has identified Germany as one of the weakest links in Afghanistan," Steinberg says.
Source: CNN (English)
See also: Pakistan: Dutch TV in al-Qaeda video