|A BfV security person [Image Source]
Less than two weeks ago, we wrote here [“21-Nov-16: German experts “discover” that Islamist terrorists are “being trained” to come into Europe as asylum seekers“] about some serious terrorism-related matters that had just been uncovered in Germany.
In addition to being Europe’s strongest economy, Germany has the additional distinctions of (a) being home to what has just become Europe’s largest community of Muslims and (b) having admitted a seven-digit number of immigrants in the past year under a remarkably flexible and generous asylum-seeker program,
The problems that have followed are life-impacting in a variety of serious ways.
We ran down a list of deeply worrying developments in the context of Germany’s embrace of a huge influx of largely undocumented migrants in a single year and expressed our concern that German officialdom seemed to be unsure of what it ought to be doing:
Forgive us, but given the scale of the threat and the indications that serious-minded malevolents with Islamist doctrine as their guide have targeted their towns and public places, these German voices strike us as being sadly indecisive. For their sakes, we hope we’re wrong.
|German Salafist Islamists at a spiritual gathering [Image Source]
And for the sake of those who place their faith in the German government’s security apparatuses, we hope what has just been uncovered – see the next paragraph – is quickly addressed by decisive and effective action.
This [“Germany Arrests Suspected Islamist Mole in Spy Agency“] comes from today’s Wall Street Journal:
A suspected Islamist mole in Germany’s domestic intelligence service has been detained, officials said Wednesday, sparking criticism of an agency that has been on high alert following a string of attacks and foiled plots this year. Prosecutors in Düsseldorf said they had arrested a 51-year-old German national and recent Islam convert on suspicion of preparing an attack on the agency’s headquarters in Cologne and attempting to violate professional secrecy. Officials said the man had offered to help other Islamists launch an attack, but there was no proof he had started work on a plot…
The suspect was intercepted sharing agency secrets in an online chat and offering “fellow believers” access to its headquarters for an attack, the prosecutor’s office said. His chat partner was in fact an undercover agent. The suspect said he was “ready for anything to help his brothers” and that an attack against “infidels” was “in the interest of Allah,” according to the prosecutor’s office. The office said the man had confessed to infiltrating the agency to warn “fellow believers” about investigations into them.
But an AFP report [here] suggests the suspicions are actually more concrete than that: the suspect
is believed to have been planning a bombing at the BfV headquarters in the western city of Cologne, according to the German press [though] there was no immediate suggestion he had any ties to ISIS.
(BfV stands for Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, the domestic intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany. In English, the name translates to “Office for the Protection of the Constitution”.)
In Der Spiegel, it’s said that the arrested intelligence man “made a “partial confession” to the plot“.
Germans watched in horror during this past summer as ISIS claimed several mass-terror attacks carried out by so-called asylum-seekers:
- One on train passengers in the vicinity of Wurzburg [see “19-Jul-16: Tentacles in Germany: Again, a train, an axe, a religious war-cry, innocent victims and a search for motives“
- A second – an attack on people at a shopping centre in Munich [“24-Jul-16: In Germany, a gunman with Iranian citizenship kills 9“]
- A third on people at a music festival in Ansbach [“25-Jul-16: German tentacles: An explosion in a wine bar and deepening concern about ‘asylum seekers’“].
The Wall Street Journal report says these attacks
most of them by recently arrived refugees, showed the country was a prime terror target. The arrival of well over a million refugees, mainly from the Middle East, since the beginning of last year has stretched the agencies’ already limited surveillance capacity. The domestic intelligence agency started a recruiting drive recently to try to keep up. The suspect was hired in April 2016 after a change of career and was part of a team observing followers of the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam. The number of Salafists in Germany has tripled since 2012.
A BfV spokesman says the suspect
hadn’t behaved suspiciously during his recruitment, his training or his work
and even though he
was thought to have pledged allegiance to Mohamed Mahmoud, the Austrian leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group [Telegraph UK, November 29, 2016]
the man’s wife and family
reportedly knew nothing of his conversion to Islam two years ago and subsequent radicalisation. [Telegraph]
That last line might be the most incredible thing about this newest European encounter with lethal jihad. And in certain ways, the most alarming.