Sunday, February 07, 2016

07-Feb-16: In Germany, grappling with a new reality

German police arrest one of the suspects in Berlin
on February 4, 2016 [Image Source]
This past Thursday, police in Germany  - where about a million "asylum seekers" were received during 2015 - carried out raids on multiple sites, including refugee shelters. They arrested three Algerians thought to be connected to ISIS and suspected of "planning a serious act threatening the security of the state", in the words of a syndicated Agence France-Presse report.

The Berlin plot was widely speculated upon in the German news media over the following 24 hours,
with Bild reporting it as Alexanderplatz and Tagesspiegel claiming it was Checkpoint Charlie. Both cited unnamed security sources. [The Local, February 5, 2016]
Then an anti-climax:
Police confirmed to The Local on Friday that none of the people taken into custody on Thursday were arrested for planning an act of terrorism. A spokesperson for Berlin police said that the three people  - arrested in early morning raids in three German states - were all arrested on existing charges, not in connection with an ongoing investigation into the suspected planning of a terror attack... [The Local, February 5, 2016]
So the danger is not that great. But wait:
Islamic State militants have slipped into Europe disguised as refugees, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV) said on Friday, a day after security forces thwarted a potential IS attack in Berlin. Hans-Georg Maassen said the terrorist attacks in Paris last November had shown that Islamic State was deliberately planting terrorists among the refugees flowing into Europe. "Then we have repeatedly seen that terrorists... have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees. This is a fact that the security agencies are facing," Maassen told ZDF television. "We are trying to recognize and identify whether there are still more IS fighters or terrorists from IS that have slipped in," he added... "We are in a serious situation and there is a high risk that there could be an attack. But the security agencies, the intelligence services and the police authorities are very alert and our goal is to minimize the risk as best we can," he said. ["German spy agency says ISIS sending fighters disguised as refugees", Reuters, February 5, 2016]
With Germany's most senior intelligence official now admitting that the flood of illegal migrants includes some unknown number of planted terrorists, other voices have been heard offering ideas for what ought to be done.
  • "The German Catholic Church called for a reduction in the influx of refugees arriving in Germany, saying the country cannot take in "all the world's needy," according to an interview published on Saturday..." [The Local, February 6, 2016
  • Jens Müller, the mayor of Bad Schlema in eastern Germany, asked about the phenomenon of young girls being harassed by "asylum seekers" housed in the town's refugee shelter, offered this clever approach: "That's easy, just don't provoke them and don't walk in these areas...It's technically not necessary for the girls to walk there. There are alternative routes for going to school... " [RT, February 3, 2016]
  • "[T]he construction of the refugee as rapist will expand and endure as a political tool for a European far-right eager to exclude foreign others and opportunistic politicians couching its misgivings about the immigration crisis in the language of feminism. The frames of political rhetoric create unfortunate choices everywhere, but in Germany the fight against misogyny is now being transformed into the exclusion and possible expulsion of desperate war refugees." ["The rapist refugee as Germany’s boogeyman", Aljazeera, February 5, 2016]


cohenshcohen said...

have just watched Arnold Roth's presentation in Washington...(below) a dignified and informed presentation in the face of unimaginable sadness...this short presentation should be viewed by a larger public...
S H Cohen

This Ongoing War said...

Thanks for the kind words, cohenshcohen. The Washington speech is at