Tue. May 30th, 2023

The arrest of the two suspects has once again raised questions about the terror threat to Germany. This has once again brought back memories of the attack on the Christmas market in Berlin in 2016.

Is Germany under threat from 'religious extremism'?
Is Germany under threat from ‘religious extremism’?


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Despite extensive measures taken to prevent terrorist attacks in Germany over the past few years, the recent arrest of two suspected terrorists has exposed the specter of extremism in the name of Islam in Germany. The Düsseldorf prosecutor’s office announced this week that the men planned to kill an ‘unknown number of people’ with racine and cyanide. According to the police, no bomb-making equipment was found in the possession of the two men who were arrested on January 8 from a small town in the northern German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. However, these two brothers from Iran are still in police custody. Their ages are 25 and 32 years and they came to Germany in 2015.

Although searches of various apartments and garages yielded no evidence, investigators believe the suspected terrorists wanted to obtain cyanide and racine, which can be very harmful even in small amounts. “Overall, the situation is dominated by small groups and individuals who act on their own and who are online,” Thomas Halden Wang, president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, said in his annual report in June 2022. Recruited and radicalized through propaganda. It felt more like a prediction than a report and the two men arrested fit the picture of the situation.

According to the Office of the Public Prosecution, the secret information about these two brothers was provided by the United States. Foreign Minister Nancy Pfizer says that since the year 2000, 21 such terrorist attacks have been prevented in Germany. However, it was difficult to do all this without the help of foreign intelligence agencies, especially the United States.

Gudio Steinberg, an expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin, warned in a 2021 report that there could be risks in Germany relying heavily on the US for counter-terrorism. Is. According to him, Germany has been facing serious difficulties in fighting religious extremists since 2001.

At first glance, this recent case resembles a major terror plot uncovered in the German city of Cologne in June 2018, in which a large quantity of ricin was found in a man’s apartment. Two years later, the man was sentenced to ten years in prison after being found guilty of committing crimes against the state.

The most serious terrorist attack in Germany to date was in December 2016, when a man named Inis Amri drove a speeding truck into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing twelve people. .

After the attack in Berlin, the number of terrorist activities and their plans decreased to a great extent. According to Gudio Steinberg, one of the main reasons for this is the fall of the extremist organization “Islamic State” in the Middle East and the improvement of spying techniques by the United States. However, Germany’s counter-terrorism efforts are fragmented, incoherent and prone to error.

Indeed, it is difficult to estimate the risks of new terrorist attacks, but according to the police, one of the reasons for the decrease in them may be the reduction in the number of ‘dangerous persons’. The police registered a record of 770 militants in 2018. After two years, their number decreased to 630 people and now only 530 such people are registered.

In this regard, the president of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Halden Wang, said during an interview, “All the attacks in Germany in recent years were carried out by individuals with extremist ideas in a personal capacity with an organization behind them.” It was not”. A similar view is being expressed about these two brothers who were arrested a few weeks after this interview.

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