Germany ‘Waking Up to New Reality’ Similar to Israel’s, Say Frightened Residents in Wake of Shooting, Machete, Suicide-Bombing Attacks by Mideast Refugees
Following a series of terrorist and other bloody attacks in Germany, residents are “waking up to a new reality” similar to that of the Jewish state, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday.
According to the report, after Sunday night’s suicide bombing outside of a music festival in Ansbach in Bavaria — the fourth recent violent incident perpetrated by an immigrant of Middle Eastern origin — Germans are starting to fear for their safety on a daily basis.
“The increase in lone-wolf terrorism and violence is altering the atmosphere in Berlin,” Israeli poet and activist Mati Shmuelof told Channel 2. “More police are seen in public places, and suddenly bags are being checked at the entrance to certain venues. The greatest fear is that the extreme Right will take advantage of the situation, which it blames on Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Jana Wagler, who lives near Stuttgart, said that the latest incident reminds her of the situation in Israel. “This morning, police cars were everywhere, and I felt, ‘Yes, this is what it was like in Jerusalem when I was there last year.’”
She added, “I am not afraid all the time; only initially, when someone approaches. The German government is confused. It has to learn what to do. This is new to us.”
Ansback resident Thomas Debinski, who witnessed Sunday night’s attack, in which a Syrian suicide bomber detonated himself in a crowd, wounding 15 people, told Channel 2 that the fear grows with each new terrorist incident. “After what happened in Munich and Reutlingen,” he said, referring to two other horrific attacks, “it’s disturbing when you know that such things can happen so close to you.”
Ursula Spengler, also from Ansbach, recounted the shock she and her fellow townsmen were experiencing. “Just yesterday, we were saying that Ansbach is so small, and how could something like that happen here? And now I’m afraid to go to a festival next weekend.”
Erika Miller is one resident who said she doesn’t intend on changing her routine. “I will continue living my life as usual,” she said. “Of course it affects me. But we know that [things like this] can happen anywhere.
Three of the 15 wounded in the suicide bombing in Ansbach are in critical condition. Police confirmed that the terrorist was the only person who died in the attack. The 27-year-old Syrian, who was denied refugee status, had carried the explosives in his backpack.
This attack came on the heels of an ax attack — perpetrated by a 17-year-old Afghani — against passengers on a train in the city of Würzburg. Three people were critically injured in that attack and the assailant was shot dead.
Other incidents that occurred in Germany over the past 10 days were that of a 21-year-old Syrian refugee who attacked and killed a pregnant woman with a machete and wounded two others in Reutlingen. This, according to police, was not a terrorist attack.
Last Friday, an 18-year-old boy of Iranian origin went on a shooting spree at the Olympia shopping mall in Munich, murdering nine people before committing suicide. The investigation into the incident revealed that his motives were not nationalistic, but rather derived from a personality disorder.
The Syrian who blew himself up on Sunday night was about to be deported to Bulgaria, according to a spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry, the Hebrew news site Walla reported.
The spokesman said that the danger of additional attacks being carried out across the country is still high. Despite the fact that the bombing has not yet officially been called a terrorist attack, it was the fourth security incident in Germany – and the third in Bavaria – within a week.
“At this point, it is impossible to deport Syrians back to Syria,” he said. “But this doesn’t mean that Syrian [migrants] can’t be deported in general.”
The suicide bomber, he said, had received two deportation notices, the second of which was issued on July 13.
A German government spokeswoman said that it was too early to decide on a change in policy regarding refugees. “The actions that were perpetrated over the last days and weeks did not paint a uniform picture of the situation,” she said in a press conference. “Most of the terrorists who carried out attacks in Europe over the past few months have not been refugees.”
To sum up the situation in Germany, the north-east region executive director of the Israel advocacy group StandWithUs, wrote on Twitter:
— Shahar Azani (@ShaharAzani) July 25, 2016