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Al-Qaeda Threatens German Soldiers In Web Video

Afghan policemen at the site of a suicide attack in front of German Embassy in Kabul.
BERLIN (Reuters) -- Al-Qaeda issued an Internet threat against German soldiers, citing their involvement in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"Your soldiers are safe nowhere," said a masked man dressed in a black turban in a video message posted on the Internet.

The video, which appeared late on January 17, was titled "The rescue package for Germany" and bore the logo of As-Sahab, which is Al-Qaeda's specialist media arm. Germany is part of NATO's peacekeeping force in Afghanistan and has a mandate to send 4,500 troops there.

"If Germans ... naively believe they will get away with it, then the politicians are unfortunately out of their element," said the man.

A sign behind his head identified him as "Abu Talha the German" and he spoke in German, with a slight foreign accent.

Whoever tried to make a distinction between Al-Qaeda and the Taliban had not understood his enemy, he added.

German security officials were evaluating the film, said the Interior Ministry.

"His speech confirms once again the view of the security authorities that Germany is a target for Islamist terrorism," said the ministry.

A suicide car bomb exploded near the German embassy in Kabul on January 17, killing a U.S. soldier and four Afghan civilians.

Taliban militants, who are fighting to overthrow the Western-backed Afghan government and drive out foreign troops, claimed responsibility for the blast.

Responding to that attack, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Germany remained committed to its involvement in Afghanistan.

"We will not be put off providing help for the Afghan people by terror and shock," he said.