Those German Terrorists

Steve McCann
A recent headline in the news announced the death of eight German Islamic militants in Pakistan as a result of a US drone strike.  This news has begun to force the Germans to at last awake from their decades long slumber and understand the reality that Germany is a major recruiting ground for Islamic extremists.
These deaths have coincided with various alerts issued by United States, Great Britain and France about possible terrorist attacks in Europe.  The German authorities have now conceded that over 100 (no doubt many more) Muslims who grew up in Germany have travelled to terrorism training camps in the tribal region of Pakistan in recent years, and that many of them have returned.

In an awkward concession, the head of Germany's police federation, Konrad Freiberg said: "An increasing number of people have traveled from Germany to the training camps there -- and many of them returned and are living here".  Mr. Freiberg further stated: "We have to expect attacks."  He said the police have no means to keep them under 24 hour surveillance.

How does this affect the rest of Europe and the United States?  As the newspaper Die Welt writes: 

They [the Islamist recruits] are the nightmare of security authorities and the American intelligence services have been warning about them for a long time: Islamic terrorists who have grown up in Europe with European passports that give them access to all Western countries. [Including the United States]

If what President Christian Wulff said is right, that Islam belongs to Germany just like Christianity and Judaism, then this small minority of German Islamic fanatics are a product of our society like the terrorism of the Red Army Faction was.

And Germany is particularly obliged to prevent this export of terror.  The authorities must pay even closer attention to what is taught in some mosques and to locations where violent Islamists are recruited.  And laws must be tightened so that dangerous people can be detained at an earlier stage.

For example, at the moment, people cannot be prosecuted just for having been trained in a terror camp.  Authorities also have to prove that the suspect went through training with the aim of realizing concrete attack plans.  But it is hard to imagine that a radical would go through training in a terror camp just to have better employment prospects in Germany as an explosives expert or bodyguard.

Is Europe, which has had its collective head in the sand for many years, finally beginning to wake up?  Those of us in the United States must hope so for we have a government here that cannot even acknowledge that there is a war on terror.  But there is one certainty; there will be terrorist attacks throughout Europe and in due course in the United States.
A recent headline in the news announced the death of eight German Islamic militants in Pakistan as a result of a US drone strike.  This news has begun to force the Germans to at last awake from their decades long slumber and understand the reality that Germany is a major recruiting ground for Islamic extremists.
These deaths have coincided with various alerts issued by United States, Great Britain and France about possible terrorist attacks in Europe.  The German authorities have now conceded that over 100 (no doubt many more) Muslims who grew up in Germany have travelled to terrorism training camps in the tribal region of Pakistan in recent years, and that many of them have returned.

In an awkward concession, the head of Germany's police federation, Konrad Freiberg said: "An increasing number of people have traveled from Germany to the training camps there -- and many of them returned and are living here".  Mr. Freiberg further stated: "We have to expect attacks."  He said the police have no means to keep them under 24 hour surveillance.

How does this affect the rest of Europe and the United States?  As the newspaper Die Welt writes: 

They [the Islamist recruits] are the nightmare of security authorities and the American intelligence services have been warning about them for a long time: Islamic terrorists who have grown up in Europe with European passports that give them access to all Western countries. [Including the United States]

If what President Christian Wulff said is right, that Islam belongs to Germany just like Christianity and Judaism, then this small minority of German Islamic fanatics are a product of our society like the terrorism of the Red Army Faction was.

And Germany is particularly obliged to prevent this export of terror.  The authorities must pay even closer attention to what is taught in some mosques and to locations where violent Islamists are recruited.  And laws must be tightened so that dangerous people can be detained at an earlier stage.

For example, at the moment, people cannot be prosecuted just for having been trained in a terror camp.  Authorities also have to prove that the suspect went through training with the aim of realizing concrete attack plans.  But it is hard to imagine that a radical would go through training in a terror camp just to have better employment prospects in Germany as an explosives expert or bodyguard.

Is Europe, which has had its collective head in the sand for many years, finally beginning to wake up?  Those of us in the United States must hope so for we have a government here that cannot even acknowledge that there is a war on terror.  But there is one certainty; there will be terrorist attacks throughout Europe and in due course in the United States.