German spy head says public events must go ahead despite security fears

November 18, 2015 10:37


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BERLIN- Germany should not be cowed by the threat of Islamic State violence, the head of the domestic intelligence services said on Wednesday, after an international soccer game was cancelled due to fears of an attack.

With security worries running high in Europe after shootings and bombings in Paris last Friday which killed at least 129 people, BfV president Hans-Georg Maassen said Germany, like other Western states, is an enemy of Islamic State (IS).

"If IS can hit us, if IS can carry out terror attacks in Germany, it will do so -- that is our big concern," Maassen said in an interview with broadcaster ARD.

But Germany should not cancel big public events in response to those fears.

"No, I would not recommend that at all," said Maassen, though he defended the decision on Tuesday evening to cancel Germany's soccer match against the Netherlands in Hanover, which Chancellor Angela Merkel had been due to attend.

"I can say we had very concrete leads that led us to give our recommendation to the German government (to cancel the match)," said Maassen.

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