Security reinforced at airports in western Germany

 German Federal Police patrol at the seasonally decorated airport in Stuttgart.
German Federal Police patrol at the seasonally decorated airport in Stuttgart.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BERLIN (AFP) - Security was reinforced Thursday (Dec 20) at several airports in western Germany, police said, amid some unconfirmed media reports of a terrorist threat.

Heavily armed police were patrolling late Thursday in several airports, including Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Friedrichshafen, and Mannheim, according to a federal police spokesman.

The reinforced presence of police will remain in place until further notice, the spokesman added.

At the same time there has been no disruption to flights, a spokeswoman for the airports said.

Some German media have speculated as an explanation for the beefed-up security the spotting of four men, including a radical Islamist, allegedly suspected of planning an attack, which police did not confirm.

Several days ago, the men were filmed by a surveillance camera at Stuttgart airport, the daily Tagesspiegel reported. They remained near the metal detectors without taking a flight and without baggage.

And Suedwestrundfunk, a media group in western Germany, reported that Moroccan authorities had informed their German counterparts that they had intercepted conversations referring to a possible attack at an airport near the German-French border.

Small airports have also reinforced security controls "as a precaution", police at Reutlingen said.