Wednesday, November 25, 2015

German media: Israel provided Germany with intel that prevented a major terror attack at a soccer game in Hannover

A specific intelligence warning from Israel led German authorities to call off a soccer game between Germany and the Netherlands on November 17, German media reported on Wednesday.

According to the Stern news site, the German security authorities received serious warnings about a terror threat on the Monday before Tuesday’s scheduled match in Hannover, and more specific information was relayed in the course of Tuesday.

So concrete were the details, Stern reported, that the German authorities saw no alternative but to cancel the game, which was called off 90 minutes before kickoff.

Members of the German government including Chancellor Angela Merkel were in Hannover en route to attend the match at the time, intending to send a signal that Germany would not bow to terrorism in the wake of the deadly Paris attacks the previous Friday. A France-Germany soccer match at Paris’s Stade de France was among the targets attacked by Islamic State terrorists on November 13 in a multiple terror spree that killed 130 people. Three suicide bombers blew themselves up at the stadium, killing one bystander. The bombers had sought unsuccessfully to enter the stadium.

The Israeli warnings including details of times and targets, said Stern. According to a second, unconfirmed, German media report, cited by Israel’s Hebrew-language Ynet news site, an explosive device was subsequently found in a vehicle disguised as an ambulance outside the stadium.