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German Govt. closes shopping mall over attack threat

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German police cordoned off a shopping centre in the central city of Essen on Saturday, citing the threat of a terror attack, less than a year after a deadly shooting spree in a mall in Munich.

"The shopping centre will be closed all Saturday due to security concerns. The police have concrete information regarding a possible attack," local police said in a statement published on social media.
Security services quoted by the Bild newspaper described the threat as a potential multiple suicide bombing.
"Many agents are deployed onsite. This is a major operation," a spokesman told AFP, indicating the lockdown that included the 200-store Limbecker Platz in downtown Essen, nearby parking garages and an underground rail station all locked down in security cordon.
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Germany is on high alert following the Christmas market carnage in Berlin last December, in which an Islamic State jihadist rammed a truck into a crowd of pedestrians, killing 12 people.
Last July, a German-Iranian man who police say was obsessed with mass murderers, including a Norwegian right-wing, fanatic shot dead nine people at a Munich shopping mall before turning the gun on himself.
Domestic security officials estimate there are some 10,000 radical Islamists in Germany, with roughly 1,600 among them suspected of being capable of violence.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for attacks in Germany in the past year, including the murder of a teen in Hamburg, a suicide bombing in Ansbach and an axe rampage on a train in Wuerzberg that injured five.

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