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Al-Qaida targets Germans ahead of election

BERLIN, June 9 (UPI) -- German security experts believe al-Qaida is planning to attack Germans ahead of the country's national elections on Sept. 27.

An attack would be aimed at protesting and ending Berlin's military contribution to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. The attack would likely be staged in northern Africa, or even in Germany itself, German news magazine Der Spiegel reports.

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German intelligence officials have based their assessment on a U.S. government warning that the al-Qaida leadership has tasked its North African branch, al-Qaida of the Islamic Maghreb, with attacking German targets. Made up mainly of Algerians and Tunisians, the branch is considered particularly dangerous because of its ties into Europe, the magazine writes.

German authorities have started alerting German companies in northern Africa of the terror threat; they have also started looking into the group's presence in Germany.

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