The head of the German police union has called for the establishment of a "European defence centre" to share intelligence between security agencies and justice bodies in the battle against terrorism.

Rainer Wendt was speaking to the Passauer Neuen Presse newspaper in the wake of terror attacks in Brussels on 22 March which left 34 dead and more than 250 injured, carried out by extremists believed to be linked to an Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) terror cell that committed the Paris attacks on November 13.

Wendt said that Europe faced a "long period of terror", and warned that Germany too would soon be targeted by jihadists. "London, Madrid, Paris, now Brussels. German cities will not avoid [similar attacks] in the long run as well," he said.

He called for European intelligence agencies to pool information on terror suspects. "Europe as a whole is threatened and we need common solutions to terrorism," he argued.

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His comments come a day after German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere also called for stronger European cooperation on sharing information on terror suspects in the wake of the Brussels attacks.

"Data protection is all well and good, but in times of crisis security comes first," de Maiziere told public broadcaster ARD. "The external borders of the Schengen zone have too many gaps in them. We need a register which shows who's coming in and who's leaving."

In 2015, Germany formed a specialised police anti-terror unit, the BFE, designed to be deployed quickly in response to terror attacks.

Across Europe, security measures have been increased at sites including airports in response to the Brussels attacks.