“Germany Must Do More to Combat Homegrown Terrorism”

6 October 2010
The deaths of up to eight German militants in a US drone strike in Pakistan on Monday is a further indication that Germany has emerged as a recruiting ground for Islamic extremists, say media commentators. Authorities need to step up efforts to counter the problem, they say.
Up to eight German Islamic militants were killed in a US drone strike in northwest Pakistan on Monday, according to unconfirmed reports that have thrown a spotlight on the rising number of young Islamists who are travelling from Germany to receive training in terrorist camps.
The deaths coincided with alerts issued by authorities in the US, Britain and other nations about possible terrorist attacks on targets in Europe. While the German government has insisted there is no cause for alarm, police and intelligence authorities say over 100 Muslims who grew up in Germany have travelled to terrorism training camps in the tribal border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years, and that many of them have returned.
The head of Germany’s police federation, Konrad Freiberg, said there were some 40 militants living in Germany who had received explosives training. “An increasing number of people have traveled from Germany to the training camps there — and many of them returned and are now living here,” Mr Freiberg told the Passauer Neue Presse newspaper. “We have to expect attacks.” He said the police didn’t have the means to keep them under 24-hour surveillance.