INSIGHT – For several months, the authorities steadfastly repeated that the country should expect the worst
<. i> Correspondent in Berlin
Germany knew viewfinder terrorists. Friday night, Munich has unfortunately spent his first night of real anguish. For several hours, while a gunfight broke out in a shopping center and the perpetrators were still at large, the Bavarian capital has experienced maximum terror alert. Even before the reasons for the attack were confirmed, psychosis of an attack had settled. Obviously, this is the Islamist hypothesis that has arisen in the minds even if the police, to 23 hours not exclude any stalking and as the investigation was in progress.
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the attack, anyway, will change the social climate in Germany as evidenced by rapid reactions to crisis meetings Berlin, hasty return to New York from Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, unanimous feedback from policymakers to mourn the victims. Federal President Joachim Gauck said he was “horrified”. “Do not let us confuse terrorism,” said Peter Altmaier, the right arm of Angela Merkel.
800 German Islamist parties in Syria
For several months, the authorities repeated consistently that the country should expect the worst. “The question is not whether we will be affected but when,” explained-on. Until now, Germany had been spared. With a military presence reduced in Syria and Iraq, it was less exposed than France in the war against Daech. The Islamists also seemed to miss points of support in society: full employment, the strong influence of the Turkish community and the low social rancor left them little space. But small groups of radicalization is still ongoing.
The country has some 8,000 Salafists. About 800 German Islamists have left the country to join the jihad in Syria. Homeland Security estimates that about 450 the number of potentially dangerous people. On the Internet, calls to German attack Germany circulated. Several terrorists who attacked France and Belgium this year or the previous road had also borrowed refugees. She led them in Germany. Several months later, the security services had acknowledged underestimating the threat. They emphasized however the resurgence of violence linked to the extreme right.
First warning a few days before Munich
Since the bombing of Charlie Hebdo especially since those of 13 November in Paris, Germany is on the teeth. The country has experienced several crises. Some were found to be without basis in reality, as the evening football match Germany-Netherlands, November 17, a few days after the events of Bataclan. The meeting had been canceled because of a “concrete threat”. The police investigation had led to nothing. Then in December, the New Year’s evening in Munich, both stations had been evacuated because of terrorist risk. Another false alarm. Other attacks, more marginal, clearly denoted a terrorist context. A few days before the shooting of Munich, Bavaria had already experienced a first warning, after an “ax” attack in a regional train near Würzburg, claimed by Daech. The assault by a fanatical 17 year old Afghan or Pakistani origin had caused few casualties. In mid-April, three teenagers of 16 or 17 years claiming to radical Islam had attacked a Sikh temple in Essen. In late February, another fanatical teenager attacked police in Hanover.
Finally, as the French police, the German security services had dismantled as “terrorist” cell suspected of planning attacks. Last June, an Islamist group was arrested while he was Düsseldorf. In February, another network, this time targeting Berlin, was arrested. Impossible to know in the state if the threat actually was imminent or not. German police, as far as possible, prefer to work in confidence.