Berlin (AP) - An American missile strike killed five German militants Monday in the rugged
The attack, part of a recent spike in American drone strikes on Pakistan, came as Germany said it has "concrete evidence" that at least 70 Germans have undergone paramilitary training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and about a third have returned to Germany.
Authorities across Europe have heightened security at airports and other travel hubs as well as at main tourist attractions following the
Police officers with sniffer dogs patrolled subways in
The terror cell said to be behind the
A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that his office was checking the report of the latest killings. He declined to be named in keeping with policy.
However, the German police agency responsible for terrorism investigations, the Federal Criminal Police Office, said as many as 220 people have traveled from Germany to Pakistan and Afghanistan for paramilitary training, and at least 70 have received it. A Pakistani intelligence official last week said there are believed to be around 60 Germans in
Despite the growing evidence of a terror plot,
The threat is being viewed differently by Washington and European capitals, and some analysts said it was a matter of approach. Such differences have played out repeatedly in the years since the 9/11 attacks on the
British intelligence prefers to keep targets under surveillance as they plan attacks, often waiting until the final stages to intervene -- hoping to gather evidence and to gain information about contacts in
"That cuts significantly too close to the bone for the
"After 9/11 there were almost daily warnings of new threats in the
"We felt, having tracked intelligence over a lengthy period of time, it was appropriate to issue this alert at this moment," he said.
"We specifically have said continue with your travel plans, but just be cautious because we are aware of active plots against the
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere insisted his nation had no concrete evidence of an imminent attack. "There is no reason to be alarmist at this time," de Maiziere said.
He said he had spoken with U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano about the travel advisory and that it is not "in keeping with our assessment of the situation."
In a rare public speech last month, MI5 director general Jonathan Evans warned that the risk of attacks can never be completely eradicated.
"We appear increasingly to have imported from the American media the assumption that terrorism is 100 percent preventable and any incident that is not prevented is seen as a culpable government failure. This is a nonsensical way to consider terrorist risk," Evans said.
Many tourists said they planned to be vigilant but would not change their plans.
"I'm very happy to be here in
Hannah Haskins, an 18-year-old from
"I probably will be alert and it is going to be high on my mind, but it won't change my plans," she said.
"I will catch the subways, go to the museums and enjoy. There are so many threats and this one is very vague. There is always a threat, so what's the difference?"
Associated Press writers Asif Shahzad in Islamabad, Paisley Dodds and David Stringer in London, Juergen Baetz in Berlin Shino Yuasa in Tokyo, Eileen Sullivan and Matthew Lee in Washington, Jorge Sainz in Madrid and AP Television News reporter Nicolas Garriga in Paris contributed to this report.