German security forces have warned of increased risk of attacks on Berlin’s Jewish community after a threat from Arab extremists.
Four men were arrested, and security has been beefed up at the Israeli embassy, synagogues and schools. Security experts suggest the trigger is the escalating tension between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. There was no specific information on the threat.
German security experts told The Welt Online Internet newspaper that terror groups appear to be checking out the capital for possible attacks, and that they could infiltrate the security apparatus in synagogues there. They see an increased danger to Jewish institutions in Berlin, specifically in response to increased tensions in the Mideast, and to the recent sentencing of Arab militants in an attempted bombing of German trains.
Police have stepped up their surveillance of Berlin Jewish institutions, and recently arrested four Arabs in the Mitte section of Berlin on suspicion of observing Jewish institutions, according to the news magazine “Focus.” Three were released, while the fourth is being held on unrelated charges.
Meanwhile, security officials also are instructing Jewish institutions on how to improve their security.
In recent years, many Jewish institutions and synagogues have added metal detectors and security doors, as well as bollards outside their premises.