Germany ‘Scrambling’ To Contain Terror Plots Among Refugees, Experts Say
German counter-terrorism officials arrested a 24-year-old Syrian refugee Tuesday, marking an uptick in a desperate German attempt to stop more terrorist attacks stemming from the refugee migration.
German officials would not say if the suspect had ties to the Islamic State, but the association is likely, according to experts. In July, Germany suffered two attacks by ISIS terrorists, both of which were carried out by refugees from war-zones like Syria and Afghanistan.
“German officials are scrambling to detect and disrupt future plots,” U.S.-based security firm The Soufan Group noted Wednesday. ISIS’s presence among the refugee population is an “increasingly undeniable fact, ” the Group continued, adding that “the confluence of homegrown extremism and a large influx of refugees has produced an amplified fear of terrorism that is both valid and exploitative.”
German Intelligence revealed Saturday that the two refugees who conducted separate attacks last month in Germany were in contact with an Islamic State handler who had a Saudi Arabian phone number. Handlers instructed both refugees how to kill as many civilians as possible with the limited weapons at their disposal.
The revelation of the institutional connection to both attacks, by the same handler no less, indicates there is an intricate ISIS support network for refugees turned would-be terrorists. The network includes “clean men” who are returned to the west and instructed to lie low. These fighters are thought to be couriers of weapons, propaganda, and information to those who demonstrate a willingness to carry out attacks.
Over 1.3 million asylum seekers entered Germany in 2015. The uptick in refugee attacks on German civilians marks growing concern of radicalization among the large refugee population. Germany is increasingly concerned with attacks on its soccer stadiums, which are popular among the German population and draw large crowds. The Soufan Group warns, “The impact of a sustained campaign of terror consisting of multiple attacks over a period of several months would be highly pernicious. It would tear at the construct of the EU, and would likely impact politics and elections.”
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