The Jihadist Threat in Germany
“On November 17, 2010, then-German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière warned that jihadist terrorists might be planning to attack Germany that same month. He announced that he had ordered the Federal police (Bundespolizei) to increase its presence at airports, train stations and other possible targets. The warning was based on information that al-Qaida had sent teams from Pakistan to perpetrate attacks in Germany and other European countries. Experts and the media soon labeled the plans the “Europlot.” During the next four months, heavily armed paramilitary police secured important landmarks in the country. The closure of the Reichstag to visitors drew an especially nervous public reaction.
This was not the first time jihadists had targeted Germany. But this time, all available information suggested al-Qaida would use the increasing number of Germans who had traveled to the Pakistani tribal areas to carry out a terrorist campaign against Europe’s leading economic power...”
Excerpt from Guido Steinberg, “The Jihadist Threat in Germany,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 4, No. 1, 2013: 18-23.
Dr. Guido Steinberg is a senior fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik) in Berlin, specializing in the Middle East and terrorism. An Islamicist by training, he has worked as a research coordinator at the Free University Berlin and as an advisor on international terrorism in the German Federal Chancellery. He is a frequent expert witness in German terrorism trials and has published widely on the Middle East, Saudi Arabian and Iraqi history and politics, Islamism and terrorism.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.