Germany is increasing security throughout the country, particularly in airports and train stations, on the basis of "concrete indications of a series of attacks planned for the end of November," Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.
Dr. Maizière told citizens to be ready for a "visible police presence," which Agence France-Presse reported was already apparent today as "machine gun-toting police patrolled German stations and airports ... there could also be tighter checks on the external borders of the European Schengen visa-free travel zone."
Maizière said the Interior Ministry had "further relevant information" regarding potential Al Qaeda attacks on the United States and Europe, including Germany. "We have cause for concern, but no reason for hysteria. We will not allow international terrorism to interfere with our daily lives nor with our democratic way of life," he added. In addition to intelligence from the unnamed nation, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office independently confirmed, based on investigations "of persons with ties to Islamist extremism... that Islamist groups continue to plan attacks in the Federal Republic of Germany."
According to Germany's Tagesspiegel daily, the United States is the "foreign partner" who provided the tip-off. Up to four Al Qaeda operatives were on their way to Germany to attack the popular Christmas shopping markets, according to Tagesspiegel, and expected to arrive Nov. 22 via India or the United Arab Emirates.