German anti-Islam group Pegida cancels rally over 'ISIS death threat'

A picture taken on Jan 12, 2015 shows sympathizers of German right-wing populist movement Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) attending their twelfth march in Dresden, eastern Germany. Germany's anti-Islamic Peg
A picture taken on Jan 12, 2015 shows sympathizers of German right-wing populist movement Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident) attending their twelfth march in Dresden, eastern Germany. Germany's anti-Islamic Pegida movement said it has cancelled a planned march on Monday, Jan 20, citing a death threat against organisers from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group. -- PHOTO: AFP

DRESDEN (AFP) - Germany's anti-Islamic Pegida movement said it has cancelled a planned march on Monday, citing a death threat against organisers from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group.

"Cancelled! Dear friends, unfortunately we must cancel our 13th meeting due to security concerns," the group "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident" said on its Facebook page on Sunday.

"What in police jargon is called an 'abstract threat' has changed to a 'concrete death threat' against a member of the organising team. ISIS terrorists have ordered his assassination."

Germany's Der Spiegel news weekly reported Friday that foreign intelligence services had picked up communications by some "known international jihadists", without giving specific details.

The intelligence, which was passed to German authorities, indicated they had discussed possible attacks on Pegida rallies.

"We take these leads very seriously," Spiegel quoted an unnamed high-ranking security official as saying.

Pegida said it had discussed the threat with state police and the internal security agency.

It had decided to scrap the event in the eastern city of Dresden as it could not guarantee the security of marchers and feared "collateral damage".

Top-circulation daily Bild said in an online report that the threat targeted Pegida founder Lutz Bachmann.

Dresden police declined immediate comment.

Pegida marches began in Dresden with several hundred supporters three months ago and have steadily grown, to number 25,000 last Monday, five days after the attacks in Paris by Islamic extremists in which 17 people were killed.