German authorities have yet to find proof of the man arrested on suspicion of plotting yet another terrorist attack in the country.
A 27-year-old German man was arrested on Wednesday, August 17 after he was suspected of storing materials that could be used as explosives in his home in Eisenhuettenstadt. Police raided the apartment only to find that the explosives they were looking for were firecrackers.
Germany, like many other European countries, are feeling vulnerable in the wake of the numerous terrorist attacks that have plagued some of the continent’s biggest cities in the past month alone. Tensions are high, guards are way up, and nothing is being left to chance. Brandenburg State Premier, Dietmar Woitke, suspects that terrorists have plans to strike at the local festival in the town of Eisenhuettenstadt, in which they believed the German man still in police custody is an accomplice.
Although nothing but pyrotechnical devices was found in the man’s apartment, authorities still believe that he may be affiliated with the Islamic State due to his Salafist militant background, according to German news magazine, Focus. However, some German authorities believe he worked alone.
Recent attacks in Germany
Germany, like its French counterpart, has been the site of increasing terrorist interest this year. Although not all the attacks have been proven to be linked to the Islamic extremist group, civilians have still been caught in the crossfire and authorities placed on high alert.
On Monday, July 18, a 17-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan was shot dead after having attacked passengers with a knife on a regional train in northern Bavaria and seriously injuring four Chinese tourists. The teenager had initially sought asylum in southern Germany in 2015 until he recently moved to a foster home in Ochsenfurt, close to Würzburg, where the attack took place. He had also received a temporary residence permit earlier in the year.
Although there initially was no substantial evidence that the young man was affiliated with Islamic State, ISIS reportedly released a video on their online news agency, Amaq, claiming that the attack that happened in Germany can be tributed to them.
A few days later, another teenager of German-Iranian citizenship went on a shooting rampage in Munich, killing nine people and wounding more than 15. This incident counted as the third attack on Europe in eight days.
“I am German,” tThe teenager reportedly screamed before opening fire.
After his killing spree, he then killed himself. Police had raided his home but found nothing concrete aligning him with the Islamic extremist group. He is also believed to have acted alone.
Germany’s reactions to attacks
Since the beginning of this year, Germany has decreased its influx of people seeking asylum in the country where 117 000 immigrants were received in the first six months compared to more than one million during the same period last year. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is becoming increasingly unpopular among conservatives for allowing refugees to continue to enter German borders. According to Eyewitness News, Merkel stated that people fleeing conflict and persecution have the right to seek asylum in the country. However, not all share Merkel’s point of view, which has prompted the rise of an anti-immigration party.
Furthermore, Germany is considering banning the burqa, following the example set by their fellows France and Belgium. Four years ago, the German government had said it would be unconstitutional to prohibit the full burqa or the niqab facial veil. However, in light of the numerous attacks the nation has experienced this year, German officials refuse to take any more risks in the face of terror and are considering going ahead with the controversial decision.
Another response to terrorist attacks is the proposal of recruiting 15 000 more police officers and increasing their presence on transportation hubs. Moreover, officials are flirting with the idea that German people be prohibited from holding dual nationality.
On the one hand, Europe’s current paranoia is understandable in the sense that they have been constant targets of terrorism in the past eight months of 2016 alone. Many innocent people going about their daily lives have fallen prey to violent attacks, leaving authorities feeling quite vulnerable. When tension and immense fear has risen to an all-time high, where will Europeans go for refuge?
On the other hand, this constant othering of any Muslim individual or refugee is cultivating a culture of hate and discrimination in the West. Not to say that such a culture is a new occurrence in this part of the world but with the media constantly bombarding viewers with “us and them” language, glorifying killing for the “greater good” and recycling a hateful and violent rhetoric in the name of the war on terror, which in itself is problematic, how can anyone not be at risk of being brainwashed?
Growing nationalism, victimization of those seeking asylum and intensifying discrimination of people’s religious customs is sending the world in a direction that only has one outcome: more hate, death, and tragedy.
Source: Eyewitness News