The application of 600 police, intelligence agents and other operatives has resulted in the arrest of three alleged violent Islamic extremists in Germany, as has been reported around the world. Other shoes are starting to drop. As could be expected from an investigation of this magnitude, three arrests were just the beginning, and one of the real questions will be how far back German authorities, and the other agencies they cooperated with, were able to trace the purported would-be bombers’ connections, and how far they will be able to pursue the connections. Do the traces lead to areas in Pakistan the government does not actually control? Where does the money trail lead?

The Guardian claims “The fact that homegrown suspects were at the core of the plot shocked many Germans.” The Washington Post offers similar sentiments, “The arrests Tuesday shocked many Germans, particularly because two of the suspects were native-born Germans who had converted to Islam, including one named Fritz.” No actual shocked Germans are quoted by either paper, but they’d have to have had their heads pretty far in the sand (or up something else) to have been either shocked or surprised. The zeal of the converted is proverbial, and the fact of ethnic Germans converting to Islam has hardly been a secret. If any Europeans thought there was a safe barrier between “us” and “them,” they should have been disabused of that notion long ago.

Some years back I had the opportunity to ask a senior security official in Bavaria how an overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly Christian police force hoped to infiltrate radical circles that were generally not white and Islamic. With admirable candor he said, “That’s a crucial question for us.” But what he didn’t have then was a good answer. The presence of converts in violent jihadi circles is a sign that they could actually be infiltrated. In that sense, they may even be easier to crack than, say, ethnically-based mafias, which is good news.

This entry was posted in A Fistful Of Euros, Germany, Political issues, Religion by Doug Merrill. Bookmark the permalink.

About Doug Merrill

Freelance journalist based in Tbilisi, following stints in Atlanta, Budapest, Munich, Warsaw and Washington. Worked for a German think tank, discovered it was incompatible with repaying US student loans. Spent two years in financial markets. Bicycled from Vilnius to Tallinn. Climbed highest mountains in two Alpine countries (the easy ones, though). American center-left, with strong yellow dog tendencies. Arrived in the Caucasus two weeks before its latest war.

5 thoughts on “Busted

  1. Funny that you should mention “the ethnically-based mafia”. There was quite a large article on them in an August issue of “Le Nouvel Observateur”. Apparently we are talking ‘Ndrangheta here. Their estimated annual “turnover” is about 37.4 billion euros. They are virtually impenetrable. The Duisburg killings have actually created a small opening (through the identification of the corpses). Nevertheless, that mafia (and others) are quite a formidable “enemy within”.

    So, yes, I would say that the concept of Muslim converts provides a good opening for infiltration.

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  3. Interesting post. I agree with your criticism.

    I would just say that German law enforcement agencies are less white and Christian than they used to be ten years ago.

    Besides, it is in the national interest to let the wider pubic, including the terrorists, believe that the intel agencies are still white and Christian, so that the bad guys are more likely to trust undercover agents with “migrant background.”

  4. o_O when a Bush-worshipping amerikan like Jorg agrees with AFoE, it ought to be an alarm signal that your reporting is seriously lacking.

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