Germany shuts down parliament for tourists over terror threat

The Reichstag building housing Parliament, which attracts up to 10,000 tourists a day for its stunning panoramic views of Berlin, will be shut until further notice.

BBC, however, quoted a spokeswoman for the parliament building as saying that guided tours for visitors would continue, despite the alleged threat.The move came after Der Spiegel magazine reported on the weekend, without citing sources, that a group of al-Qaeda terrorists trained in Pakistani camps and assisted by underworld don Dawood Ibrahim are planning to storm Germany's Parliament in a Mumbai-style attack.

Following the publication of the report, police cordoned off the area around the historic Reichstag building here and heightened security.

Hundreds of extra police have been pressed into service to protect other possible targets as well such as airports, railway stations and places of mass gatherings across the country.
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere raised the county's terrorist threat level last week, saying that Berlin had received a tip from an unspecified country about a suspected attack planned for the end of November.

Berlin's top security officer Ehrhart Koerting today told a parliamentary security subcommittee that it was decided to strengthen security at the Reichstag after the terror threat.

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