German police get revised guidance on protecting American, Jewish facilities

Security services review threat levels following killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq; several states reported to raise alert levels

Illustrative: German federal police in Berlin, Germany, on April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Illustrative: German federal police in Berlin, Germany, on April 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

BERLIN — Germany’s security services have reviewed domestic and international threat levels following the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq this week.

The Interior Ministry confirmed a media report Saturday that revised guidance has been circulated to police in Germany’s 16 states so they can take “appropriate security measures” to protect American and Jewish facilities.

The ministry provided no details on the guidance disseminated by the Federal Police Office.

Weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported several German states have already raised their alert levels.

Germany’s parliament recently voted in favor of a complete ban on activities in the country by the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah.

Jewish sites around the world are seen as a potential target for Iranian retaliation following Soleimani’s killing. On Friday the body responsible for the Chabad Jewish outreach movement’s emissaries asked representatives all around the world to upgrade their security alertness for fear of Iranian revenge attacks.

“Maintain an increased awareness, report any suspicious activity or behavior to the nearest law enforcement officials,” the body said in a message, according to Channel 12.

Iran promised to seek revenge for the US airstrike near Baghdad’s airport that killed the mastermind of its interventions across the Middle East, and the US said Friday that it was sending thousands more troops to the region as tensions soared in the wake of the targeted killing.

The death of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, marks a major escalation in the standoff between Washington and Tehran, which has careened from one crisis to another since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and imposed crippling sanctions.

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