Paris “Just the First Shot”
The offices of a German newspaper that republished satirical cartoons from Charlie Hebdo, a French magazine known for lampooning Islam, have been hit by arsonists.
No one was hurt in the attack on the Hamburger Morgenpost, which occurred in the early morning hours of January 11 and caused only minor damage.
The attack came a day after the German news magazine Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Agency (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) has enacted a nationwide emergency plan in an effort to prevent Islamic terrorists from striking in Germany.
According to Der Spiegel, federal and state security agencies have been ordered to locate the whereabouts of up to 250 German Islamists and other “relevant persons” whose identities are known to counter-terrorism authorities. The magazine also reported that the BKA had evidence “that key European cities could be attacked at any time.”
In an interview with the newspaper Bild am Sonntag on January 11, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere confirmed that German intelligence was monitoring “around 260 individuals” who could potentially strike at any moment. He said:
“We have no concrete evidence of attacks. But, as I said, we have about 260 dangerous individuals (Gefährder). We also have around 550 people who have travelled to the battle zones in Syria and Iraq. Between 150 and 180 of these have returned to Germany, and 30 of them are battle-hardened fundamentalists. They pose a serious threat to our security. I am very concerned about well-prepared perpetrators such as those in Paris, Brussels, Australia and Canada. This is a serious situation.”
Bild questioned whether Germany has enough security personnel to track all the potential terrorists. According to the newspaper, at least 60 police officers are needed to successfully monitor just one German jihadist around the clock.
De Maiziere said he was doing all he could, but he conceded: “So far we have been lucky. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case.”
Bild also reported that American intelligence agencies had intercepted the conversations of senior members of the Islamic State [IS] in which they said the attacks in Paris were just the “first shot” in a series of attacks to be carried out in other European capitals, including Rome.
Back in Germany, more than 25,000 people showed up in the eastern German city of Dresden on January 12 for a weekly gathering of a burgeoning grassroots movement known as PEGIDA—short for “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West.”
PEGIDA, which has been organizing so-called “evening walks” (Abendspaziergang) through downtown Dresden every Monday evening since October, has seen the number of protesters increase exponentially from week to week. Around 500 people gathered at the first such event, while 18,000 people attended a rally that was held on January 4.
PEGIDA offshoots are also emerging across Germany, including: Bavaria (BAGIDA), Berlin (BAERGIDA), Cologne (KöGIDA), Hamburg (HAGIDA), Kassel (KAGIDA), Leipzig (LEGIDA), Rostock (ROGIDA), Südthüringen (SüGIDA) and Würzburg (WüGIDA).
On its Facebook page, PEGIDA wrote that the attack against Charlie Hebdo in Paris confirmed its worst fears. It warned:
“The Islamists who PEGIDA has been warning about for 12 weeks showed France that they are incapable of democracy and rather look to violence and death as an answer! Our politicians want us to believe the opposite. Must such a tragedy happen here in Germany first???”
Full article: Germany Bracing for Islamic Terror (Gatestone Institute)