- In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a “‘strongly radicalized” 12-year-old boy “of Iraqi heritage” planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November.
- Previously, the festive shopping tradition of Christmas markets had become “potent symbols of freedom,” with Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, urging people to stick to unserem Leben — “our way of life.”
- In Birmingham, England, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is “unprecedented.”
- French security forces thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.
- With a pro-Sharia (Islamic law) advocate now secretary of state in the Berlin regional senate, and other Muslims even refusing to shake the hand of the German President Joachim Gauck at events designed to promote integration, Germany’s “way of life” is changing fast.
As the winter nights lengthen, an even darker shadow is falling across the run-up to the Christmas holidays in several European nations. Families in markets and shopping districts across the continent are buying presents in the knowledge that jihadists mean to target them. Continue reading
Germany officially casts off postwar military restraint and promises to help ‘in shaping the global order.’
Germany has gone through a radical transformation in how it views its military. In May 2010, German President Horst Köhler said that “a country of our size needs to be aware that … military deployment, too, is necessary if we are to protect our interests such as ensuring free-trade routes or preventing regional instabilities.” At that time, the idea that Germany would use its army to protect economic interests was so controversial that he was forced to resign.
Defense Minister says German armed forces will act under new strategy from 2016, marking a formal end to its post-WWII pacifist policy.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen announced in Berlin on Tuesday that Germany, which has been traditionally hesitant in taking part in international military operations mainly because of its Nazi past, would act “without any taboos”. Continue reading