Germany: Threat of Islamic terrorism ‘consistently high’, says report

The threat of Islamic terrorism in Germany remained high in 2007, according to an annual report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The report said Islamic militants are increasingly setting their sights on Germany and view the country as an “operational area” and that Islamists regard Germany as a “crusader” and as an ally of the United States and Israel. American, Israeli and British institutions were at high risk, said the report, as well as Russian targets, due to the ongoing conflict in Chechnya. As an example, the report mentioned the arrests of militants on 4 September 2007, when three individuals allegedly planned attacks on American institutions in Germany and were caught with bomb-making material. By the end of 2007 there were 30 nationwide active Islamist organisations said the report, an increase of two from the previous year. Among them, 1,390 active followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, and about 900 followers of Lebanese Shia radical group Hezbollah. The report mentions Chechen militants but it said their followers in Germany have so far done it without violence. Meanwhile, Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany’s minister of the interior and a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said that Germany escaped terrorist attacks because of preventive measures taken by the security services. The report included right and left wing extremism, extremism by foreigners, the Scientology organisation, and Islamism.