Terror threat on German parliament

2010-11-22 13:37

Berlin - The Reichstag in Berlin was closed for tourists on Monday following reports of a plot by Islamist extremists to attack the German parliament building.

One of Germany's most popular tourist attractions, the cupola on the Reichstag is visited by some three million tourists each year. On Monday, only groups with an advance booking were allowed through police barricades set up outside.

A spokesperson for the Reichstag offered no explanation for the closing of tourist areas on the roof of the building. Officials did not disclose how long it would be closed to the public.

Der Spiegel magazine reported on Saturday that a jihadist living abroad informed them of a plan for armed militants to enter the 19th Century building in central Berlin and open fire. It said police considered the information credible.

The information, the magazine said, had prompted officials to announce on Wednesday they were raising security, especially at public places including airports and train stations.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on Thursday authorities were on guard against threats of an armed attack of the kind that killed 166 in the Indian city of Mumbai in 2008.