Logo of al-Qaeda's N. African branch
Logo of al-Qaeda's N. African branchIsrael News Photo: (file)

Jihadists close to al-Qaeda explicitly warned in new communications that Germany will be the target of the next 9/11-scale terrorist attack. The timing of the strike, they say, will be within the next few weeks.

According to analysts with the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response (ITRR), a recently intercepted jihadist communication declares that "everyone knows" that the "next strike is very near, a strike that will surprise everyone in its effect, which will be much more shocking than that of 9/11/2001." The writer of the chilling message notes that this is the Muslim month of Ramadan and that "we pray that it will indeed be in this month."

After referring to a previous boast by Osama Bin-Laden, that the enemy is afraid and unable to prevent the next attack, the communication says:

"And the Germans, grandchildren of the Nazis, know more than everyone else that they will be the first ones to taste [the nightmare]. It is just a matter of time - that is, days or weeks - and God willing you'll see things that you've never heard of before."

While Germany and German assets have been singled out in the past, due to that nation's involvement in the war in Afghanistan, the threats have been general and motivational in nature. According to ITRR, the latest jihadist communication was unusual in that it was very explicit and open in targeting the Germans, in discussing a coming attack, and in specifying its timing. Aside from Ramadan, which ends 19 September 2009, the upcoming German national election on September 27 has been marked as a "red flag date" by ITRR. Jihadists keen on disrupting and influencing European foreign policy are likely to attempt attacks around the time of the elections.

German security services have also been cited in local media discussing stepped up jihadist chatter, threats and intelligence warnings aimed at the German state in recent months. Earlier this year, video messages delivered in German by an al-Qaeda fighter going by the name of Abu Talha, purportedly in Afghanistan, called on Germans to convert to Islam and remove their several thousand troops from the Afghan theater. According to a June report by Der Spiegel weekly, American intelligence agencies believe that al-Qaeda's leaders have decided to attack Germany, supposedly assigning the job to al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb (North Africa).