Increased German police patrols linked to terrorism threat
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — German police have stepped up foot patrols around the country in response to the increased terrorism alert issued last month by German officials.
Heidelberg police spokesman Harald Kurzer said Tuesday that, while officials haven’t identified a specific terrorist target, police increased their presence at the city’s train station, the Bismarckplatz — a major public square, the pedestrian area, and the popular Christmas market.
German federal officials raised the alert in late November, based on reports of an increased threat by radical Islamic terrorists. In response, well-armed police have increased patrols around major government centers and tourist sights, such as the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, according to a New York Times story.
At the same time, German police have increased their random traffic checkpoints, especially near U.S. military facilities, according to Kaiserslautern Police spokesman Gerhard Glaser.
“We do our regular traffic checks where we can see if cars have winter tires, if the lights work right and that the cars are safe for the streets. But we also keep the terrorism alert in mind,” Glaser said Tuesday.
In Wiesbaden, the capital city of Hessen state, the “security level was already high before the new high-alert situation”, said Markus Hoffman, a West Hessen police department spokesman. Hoffman said random traffic checkpoints are also routinely set up in the city, but he declined to say whether those are related to an increased terror threat.