It would be an attack on the very heart of democracy. SPIEGEL has learned that terrorists may have been planning an attack on the Reichstag, the home of the German parliament and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Berlin. Two suspected culprits are already believed to be in Berlin.
According to information obtained by German security authorities, al-Qaida and associated groups are believed to be planning an attack on the Reichstag building in Berlin, the headquarters of Germany's parliament and also an attraction visited by thousands of tourists every day. As part of the attack, terrorists would seek to take hostages and perpetrate a bloodbath using firearms.
The information about the alleged plans came from a jihadist who is currently abroad and has reportedly contacted the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) several times in recent days. The jihadist apparently wants to abandon the group. The information provided by the jihadist informant was apparently the reason behind German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière's decision to hold a press conference on Wednesday warning of an imminent attack in the country.
According to the caller, the terror cell is comprised of six people -- two of whom are believed already to have traveled to Berlin six to eight weeks ago, and are now staying in the city. Four other perpetrators -- a German, a Turk, a North African and a further man the jihadist could not identify -- are currently waiting to travel to Germany. The attacks are purportedly being planned for February or March.