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How Germany Is Dismantling Civil Rights amid Terror Fears

How Germany Is Dismantling
Civil Rights amid Terror Fears



06/12/2008 06:01 PM

By Jochen Bölsche

Germany has so far been spared a bloody Islamist terror attack. But it only took two planned attacks in Germany to persuade a majority of the population to support a massive dismantling of civil rights.

Jihad and Fritz. It would be hard to imagine two names much more different than these. Yet there is one thing these two young men with their thoroughly Muslim and German first names have in common. The media attention they attracted to themselves in 2006 and 2007 triggered shifts in German public opinion similar to those brought about by the series of murders perpetrated by the far-left terror group the Red Army Faction three decades ago.  

Lebanese student Jihad Hamad, 20, came to Cologne in the spring of 2006. On July 31 of the same year, he and a fellow Lebanese national took two suitcase bombs they had made and placed them on regional trains. Fortunately the bombs were not assembled correctly and failed to go off. However, the nation was shaken by press reports alleging ties to al-Qaida and evoking scenes that could have been reality if the attack had succeeded -- huge balls of fire, wrecked trains, dozens of dead and injured. 

Then in September 2007, Fritz Gelowicz, a 28-year-old German who had converted to Islam while still in high school, was arrested in Oberschledorn, a small town in Germany's Sauerland region, along with two fellow Muslims. The three men, known as the Sauerland cell, had purchased 12 barrels of hydrogen peroxide for the apparent purpose of making bombs. Once again the police, the press and the government speculated about connections to Osama bin Laden and the scale of the disaster an attack of this kind could have caused.

Prior to the public alarm caused by the cases involving Jihad and Fritz, the danger of Islamist mass murder in Germany was thought to be as remote as the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan. In contrast to the United States (2,973 dead in 2001), Spain (191 dead in 2004), and the United Kingdom (56 dead in 2005), Germany has thus far been able to avoid an Islamist massacre on its territory.  

It's true that Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has identified around 32,000 of Germany's more than 3 million Muslims -- in other words, around 1 percent of the total Muslim population -- as being members of an Islamist organization of some kind. Of these 32,000 persons, however, not even one in 100 is considered to be a militant and potentially dangerous "agitator" (as around 70 individuals are currently classified) or to be in some other way "relevant" (as 170 are classified).

Until Fritz, Jihad and their accomplices appeared on the scene, Germany had apparently not been very high on the list of possible targets for the global Islamist movement. According to the Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA), militant Muslims -- such as the 9/11 attackers around Mohammed Atta who lived for a time in Hamburg -- had long been using Germany as a place to marshal their forces and make preparations for attacks planned in other countries. 

Intelligence experts see the strategy pursued by exile groups active in Germany, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Palestinian Hamas or Chechen separatists, in a similar light. They are all fighting for the establishment of a theocracy in their respective countries. According to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, "the majority of these organizations employ terrorist methods in their home countries."

In Germany, on the other hand, these exiles "focus their attention on providing assistance to and influencing fellow expatriates as well as on collecting donations to support the activities of their parent organizations in their respective home countries." The bulk of the some 180 investigations currently being carried out against Islamists in Germany concerns the financing and recruitment of fighters for wars in faraway places.  

The fact that the Islamist strategy of carrying out bomb attacks in countries other than Germany can nonetheless result in death and injury to German citizens, was shown by the 9/11 attacks as well as those on the islands of Djerba and Bali. So far, more than 70 Germans have been killed by terrorist bombs while on vacation or on business abroad. 

However, there were soon indications that the attackers could well have Germany itself in their sights. In 2003 and 2005, Islamists were given long prison sentences by judges in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf for planning attacks on the Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg, which is located on the border with Germany, and on Jewish institutions in Germany.  

In 2004, a plot to attack Iraq's then-prime minister, the pro-American Ayad Allawi, was uncovered in Berlin. Federal prosecutors charged a group of Islamists with having made preparations for the attack. In a telephone conversation monitored by intelligence agents prior to a scheduled visit by Allawi, the Iraqi exiles in question were heard speaking of a "waterpipe" -- according to one informant, probably a code word for explosives. However, investigators were unable to find any evidence that pointed to a bomb.  

While the office of the Federal Prosecutor boasted that it had prevented the first Islamist attack on German soil by making arrests before anything happened, testimony provided by witnesses seemed to indicate that an assassination attempt on German soil was not necessarily in keeping with the strategy being pursued at the leadership level. 

According to one witness, the person who was allegedly planning the attack made a call "to Munich" to ask whether he could go ahead and carry it out. "I want to -- but in Germany and France we aren't allowed to," the Berlin Islamist is reported to have complained, according to undercover intelligence agents. The reason for this was apparently the fact that these countries were not involved in the Iraq war.

This argument dovetails with an assessment that was shared by most analysts at the time. Al-Qaida strategists had good reason to want to spare Germany, given that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder had refused to follow President George W. Bush's lead. Indeed, Germany is

criticized or referred to as an enemy in only two of Osama bin Laden's videotaped messages. 

But the assessment that Germany is definitely not in the terrorists' sights is no longer accurate. First of all, Schröder's conscientious objection to the Iraq war has been succeeded by a more conservative agenda and an expansion of the German presence in Afghanistan. Secondly, attacks in Germany no longer have to be planned and approved in the remote mountains of Waziristan in Pakistan. German intelligence agencies no longer see al-Qaida as having a centralized command structure. Instead, it consists of a virtual and informal network of individuals and small groups who are pan-Islamic in orientation but organized decentrally, if at all. 

So-called "non-aligned mujahideen," individuals inspired by bin Laden but who act on their own, include veterans who have returned from the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. These much-admired older warriors have been consistently successful in recruiting young would-be martyrs from the congregations of certain mosques. 

Intelligence agents have also begun to note among Germany's homegrown terrorists the presence of young Germans who have recently converted to Islam. Many of these young converts feel the need to impress fellow Muslims by displaying extreme fanaticism.  

Security experts have come to the conclusion -- based largely on the plans made by the bomb builders around Jihad, the Lebanese Islamist, and Fritz, the German Islamist -- that Germany is indeed coming into the sights of self-motivated Islamist groups that are willing to strike on their own, possibly in spontaneous attacks. Indeed, experts believe that Germany is in a process of transformation, from an area where Islamists prepare for attacks elsewhere, to -- in the words of the BKA -- "part of a European risk zone."  

These two cases are repeatedly cited as reasons for controversial security plans proposed by Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Schäuble is increasingly creating the impression that he wants to combat jihadism using the methods of a police state -- using Big Brother to fight bin Laden, so to speak. 

Although the Italian mafia alone killed more people in Germany in a single year -- six people were murdered in Duisburg in 2007 -- than all the Islamists living here have ever done, no other purported threat has made so many people willing to forfeit basic civil rights as the one evoked by the actions of Jihad and Fritz. When examined with the benefit of hindsight, these two cases appear in a considerably different light in many respects than they did when they were initially presented to the public.


Little Jihad, Big Brother 

A son was born to the Hamad family in a poor neighborhood of the Lebanese port city of Tripoli in 1986. His parents proudly named their youngest child Jihad, a word of central importance to the Islamic religion and whose various meanings are a recurrent source of confusion to Westerners. 

The term "greater jihad" refers to the struggle against one's own imperfections in an effort to follow the ways of God. The term "lesser jihad," however, refers to the bloody holy war against pork eaters and other infidels.  

As a boy, Hamad junior was apparently a jihadist in the peaceful sense of the word. He was considered well-behaved and a good student, "respectable and hard-working," as his former principal Maurice Bitar told the German political magazine Cicero. 

Jihad turned himself in to the Lebanese police in August 2006 after it had had been made public that he was suspected of being one of the Cologne suitcase bombers. It was obvious by then, at the latest, that he had become a jihadist in the violent sense of the word during his time as a student in Germany. 

The tabloids claimed to have known early on "from a reliable source" that Hezbollah had claimed responsibility for the suitcase bombs. Other newspapers suspected ties to al-Qaida. Politicians speculated for days that Jihad Hamad and his presumed accomplice Youssef al-Hajdib may have originally been planning an attack on the soccer World Cup tournament, which took place in Germany in 2006 -- a theory

that Schäuble later told confidants was "nonsense."  

Newspaper reports to the effect that one of the bombmakers had been identified as a result of being caught on surveillance video at the train station in Cologne also soon turned out to be incorrect. One camera had captured blurry images of a man in a soccer T-shirt with the number 13 on the back pulling a trolley behind him. 

Conservative CDU politicians took the incorrect report on the successful identification of one of the suspects as a result of video surveillance as an opportunity to renew their call to expand the use of CCTV surveillance cameras. Senior police officials stepped up their demands for the use of biometric systems to be able to carry out automatic comparisons of faces caught on surveillance video with mug shots on file.  

But there were initial doubts expressed in the quality press as to the truth of the video identification story. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung felt it was "amazing" that train station surveillance footage should have resulted in such spectacular success in finding the suspect, despite the poor quality of the images. Weeks later, it finally emerged that the suitcase duo had in actual fact been identified by traditional means of a kind also used by German law enforcement. 

Shortly before 9 p.m. on August 18, a BKA liaison officer in Beirut sent crucial information obtained from Lebanese military intelligence to Germany, which led to Youssef's arrest. The information the Lebanese intelligence agents had acquired came from a telephone call Youssef had with his family who were under surveillance on suspicion of being Islamists. 

Although in the case of the trolley terrorists what had been "seeming certainties" gradually dissolved "like sugar in a glass of water," headlines about the suitcase bombs nonetheless "changed the country," the Süddeutsche Zeitung commented. The Munich-based daily summed up the political effects as follows: "A debate on public security ensued that included critical voices, in effect bringing the people and the government closer together."  

This outcome was definitely to the satisfaction of the government. BKA President Jörg Ziercke, whose investigators discovered bomb-building instructions downloaded from the Internet on the computer they confiscated from Jihad Hamad, used this as an opportunity to reiterate their call to permit online searches of private computers, an issue which has been hotly debated in Germany recently. 

But monitoring with the help of BKA "Trojan horse" software or any other ways of invading the privacy of prime suspects would not have been able to prevent an attack in this case. Up until the suitcases were found, the two Lebanese students had not aroused the slightest suspicion that they were in any way involved in terrorism. 

The near-miss attack on German trains also put wind in the sails of security experts in the conservative parties who had been calling for the creation of a central anti-terrorism database for half a decade. In September 2006, in the wake of the attempted bomb attacks of Cologne, the state interior ministers, who up until then hadn't been able to agree on much of anything, reached an accord on the creation of a gigantic central database that would bring together bank, telephone, Internet and driver's license information to which police, customs and, under certain circumstances, the intelligence agencies would have access. News of this monster database failed to elicit much media interest. A horror vision of Islamist attacks had supplanted older fears of Big Brother. 

To large sections of the population, fanatical young men such as Jihad and Youssef constituted a threat of the first order. In separate trials, in Beirut and in Düsseldorf, the two terrorists would soon be accusing each other of having been the driving force behind the operation. In Lebanon Jihad was given a 12-year prison sentence while Youssef received a life sentence in absentia. According to BKA President Ziercke, the "initial spark" which politicized the two men had been the protests across the Muslim world against the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark. The two students don't appear to have been connected to any global network other than the World Wide Web. 

According to Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms, they constitute a previously unknown type of terrorist. She referred to small and isolated groups of young men of this kind as a new phenomenon which is "no less dangerous" than the Red Army Faction was in its time. According to Harms, such groups can become radicalized within a short period of time by reading Web sites and can then carry out attacks with bombs built using downloaded instructions, without ever having been to an Islamist training camp. 

But how should the government go about addressing hidden dangers like this? Towards the end of 2006, when public interest in the suitcase bombers had started to flag, Schäuble initiated an effort to keep the issue in the headlines with a series of bizarre proposals that included allowing suspects to be tortured, issuing a license to kill persons who constitute a terrorist threat, granting permission to shoot down hijacked airliners and permitting use of the armed forces to fight terrorism within Germany's borders. The momentum of Schäuble's provocative proposals could well have been lost if new impetus had not been created by the arrest of the German jihadists around Fritz Gelowicz in the fall of 2007.


Homegrown Terror  

Fritz Gelowicz's father began to notice the sinister change that was taking place in his son when the latter secretly had himself circumcised. Soon after Fritz had converted to Islam he wanted everyone to call him Abdullah. While still at high school he hung around mosques and frequented multicultural centers. As a university student he learned Arabic and made a pilgrimage to Mecca. In September 2007 he was arrested by a special police unit on suspicion of plotting mass murder. Jailed along with him were his accomplices Adem Y., a Turk, and Daniel Schneider, a German whose path to militant Islamism was very similar to Fritz's. Both of them grew up in broken homes. They initially sought warmth in the families of Turkish friends and then later came under the influence of a hate-preaching imam. Like Fritz from Ulm,

Daniel from Saarland took the name Abdullah after his conversion. 

The detention of the three men in the Sauerland region, the presentation by police of a number of blue canisters full of an explosive chemical that is freely available on the market, and hasty reports of "close contacts with bin Laden's al-Qaida" by a number of newspapers seemed to confirm a terror analysis recently published by the Office for Protection of the Constitution, the state domestic intelligence service, in Baden-Württemberg. "Converts are a perfect way for jihadists to be able to act in Western societies without attracting attention to themselves," the paper from the Stuttgart based agency said. "They are thoroughly familiar with the local conditions and culture, speak the local language and, as such, are easily able to disguise their true objectives and act as accomplices to terrorist networks, for the most part without being detected." 

Hadn't the trio arrested on Sept. 4, 2007 received an order from the "head" of an Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in Pakistan to carry out an attack in Germany on the sixth anniversary of 9/11? And hadn't Adem Y. predicted in a wiretapped telephone call: "The world's gonna go nuts if we pull it off on the 11th ... at exactly the same time. They'll flip, they'll flip."? 

Despite evidence gathered from wiretapped communications, the experts had doubts as to the veracity of the story that had been put forward by the Federal Prosecutor's Office to the effect that the trio had acted at the behest of an Uzbekistan-based IJU -- an ominous organization. 

Benno Köpfer, an expert on Islamism at the Baden-Württemberg Office for Protection of the Constitution, said there was "quite a bit of evidence" that would seem to indicate that a text widely circulated on the Web and purportedly from the IJU in question is the work of copycats. Otherwise what is "known" about this organization is based solely on "information from US intelligence agencies" and there is "considerable doubt" that it exists. 

When a reporter from the alternative daily Die Tageszeitung wanted to know whether IJU might be an "invention of Western intelligence agencies," Köpfer was evasive, saying he would rather not speculate on that. But he said he felt it was important to inform the public about the doubts his agency harbored. "It would be quite a bit more embarrassing for the intelligence community if it were to come out three years from now that the IJU never existed at all," he said. 

British experts reacted to the news of German IJU jihadists with raised eyebrows. Craig Murray, a former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, wrote in the Guardian that Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov, who at times has allied himself with the United States, is known for having brutally murdered opponents to his regime and then planting evidence that pointed to an IJU. Craig went on to say that if the obscure group exists at all it is very likely part of an Uzbek agent provocateur operation. In a recent statement BND experts were emphatic in rejecting this theory. 

Investigators on the trail of the German jihadists rapidly found themselves in a jungle where their paths mysteriously kept crossing those of alleged intelligence agents and alleged terrorists.


Eroding Privacy and Curbing Civil Liberties 

It became known that Yehia Yousif, the hate-preaching Egyptian imam in Ulm who converted Fritz to Islamism, had for many years been an informant for the state Office for Protection of the Constitution (LfV), a fact, the Stuttgarter Zeitung noted, the agency had gone out of its way to keep hush about. According to Johannes Schmalzl, head of the LfV in Stuttgart, Yousif, who has been in hiding since 2002, continues to pull strings from behind the scenes, allegedly from Saudi Arabia. 

It wasn't just newspapers with minority readerships and a weakness for conspiracy theories that saw in the Fritz case something with "more to it than met the eye," as Junge Welt wrote. Mass-circulation Bild also noticed an increasing number of "strange and puzzling factors." 

The circumstances surrounding the investigation of the Fritz case were irritating for observers on all sides. The operation bore the code name "Alberich," after the king in Germanic mythology who guarded the Nibelung treasure with the help of a magic hat that made him invisible, or, in Richard Wagner's "Ring", appears in the form of a tyrannical dwarf from the house of Schwarzalben. On Schäuble's orders the three suspects were kept under surveillance around the clock for 11 months, right up until their arrest, by a team of some 300 investigators. What amounted to the biggest police effort since the German Autumn of 1977 was triggered by suspicious e-mails that had been intercepted by the American National Security Agency. The operation was headed by a joint working group in Berlin involving representatives of the German intelligence agencies and the CIA, the first time this has ever been done. 

One fact in the operation shows just how closely the surveillance teams were keeping tabs on things and how successful they were in wearing a magic hat that made them invisible. They succeeded in entering the storage facility they had staked out, removing the 35-percent hydrogen peroxide solution the men had purchased from a dealer in the town of Hodenhagen in the western German state of Lower Saxony, and replacing it with a three percent mixture, all without being noticed. A bomb made with this material would not have been able to explode any more than the incorrectly constructed Cologne suitcase bombs. 

The odd thing is that the men knew they were being followed everywhere they went, that their telephones were tapped, their e-mails were being read and that their apartments and cars had been bugged. Nonetheless, they continued for months to travel around Germany, to case American bases at an irritatingly slow pace, to create disruptions in front of discos frequented by GIs, to buy chemicals and detonators as well as to rent houses and garages, all the while under constant surveillance. 

It also seemed strange that the trio were not deterred from their activities when their apartments were searched and that they even made derisive comments about the officials involved. This kind of behavior, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung wrote, gave pause for thought and raised "serious concerns." 

The same applied with regard to trips the converts had taken abroad, allegedly to training camps operated by the obscure IJU, according to the Federal Prosecutor's Office, and possibly infiltrated by the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI, according to other sources. Solid information on their stays in training camps, in particular information that would stand up in court, was hard to come by. 

Günther Beckstein, the Bavarian Interior Minister at the time (today he is the state governor), said it appeared doubtful that it was going to be possible to prove in court that the suspects had wanted to use car bombs against US military facilities in and around Frankfurt to send their message. His Hessian counterpart, Volker Bouffier, conceded that at the time of their arrest on Sept. 4 the suspects had not yet made a "final decision" on their targets for Sept. 11. 

In wiretapped conversations the three men had talked about a wide range of targets, including "American whores" who frequent discos. Terrorism expert Annette Ramelsberger (author of "Der deutsche Dschihad" or "German Jihad") reported that they had cynically imagined the outcome of an attack on a disco: "Those bitches will be blown to bits, God willing." 

With all of that in mind, it is understandable that the Federal Prosecutor's Office expressed its central accusation in a somewhat convolute manner, speaking of the "alleged consideration" given by the suspects to the possibility that US bases "might be chosen as targets of an attack." 

The legal outcome of the case is difficult to predict. But the political consequences of "Operation Alberich" can be assessed very precisely. After the arrests US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff congratulated his counterpart Wolfgang Schäuble on this success and noted that Europe had become just as much a part of the battleground as the United States. Polls show that 76 percent of the people in Germany are afraid of Islamist attacks. After the arrests in the Sauerland a majority of the population, 58 percent, supported Schäuble's call for online searches of private computers.


Stasi 2.0 versus Jihad 2.0?  

During his visits to Washington while still the federal interior minister, Otto Schily constantly heard from CIA Director George Tenet: "You've got to think like you would in a war." 

As a Social Democrat, Schily had compunctions about letting Germany's rule-of-law system be transformed into a kind of rule-of-the-law-of-war system in response to the Islamist threat. American demands in this direction are more likely to be received with an open mind by his successor, Schäuble (CDU), who realizes that the fight against terrorism cannot be won "with traditional police methods."  

With increasing frequency Schäuble has thought out loud about whether or not the government should treat apparent jihadists as "enemy combatants" and "detain" them, even when no concrete evidence can be found that they have committed punishable offenses. Schäuble has even put targeted killings of jihadists on the table as an option for consideration. 

The Bush administration has been pleased to see that the German government is on the same wave length with regard to Islamism. During the joint Operation Alberich action, Schäuble spoke a number of times with Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff about Fritz and his friends. Surveillance of the Ulm trio was even a topic of conversation between Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Bush at the G-8 summit. Bush had even familiarized himself with the names of the suspects. 

The kinds of coups that are possible in cooperation with the US intelligence agencies was shown in Canada more than a year before the Oberschledorn arrests. After months of around-the-clock surveillance by some 400 police officers and secret service agents a group of suspected homegrown terrorists, including some of Arab descent, were arrested just as they were taking delivery of three tons of a substance they assumed to be ammonium nitrate, a chemical fertilizer that can also be used to make bombs. 

While the White House expressed its satisfaction at this instance of "successful cooperation" with Canadian law enforcement, the Toronto Star reported some revealing details. It alleged that undercover agents had been involved in handling the order, filling the fertilizer sacks with a non-explosive white powder and delivering them to the would-be terrorists. 

The American administration regularly uses spectacular arrests of this kind as proof of the need to introduce new surveillance techniques everywhere in the West. It has already been able to gain acceptance for many of its demands. An agreement drafted by Schäuble and Chertoff on exchanging airline passenger information between the United States and the European Union is already in effect. Despite Germany's installation of a new anti-terrorism database the information-gathering needs of the security agencies are far from satisfied. Road toll data, scent samples of protesters, license plate video scans, passport photo database access, face recognition cameras, electronic eavesdropping on religious and legal counselors, six-month storage of all telephone and e-mail connections as well as the locations of mobile phone users at any given time -- all of this and more was or still is on the agenda in Berlin. 

For some time now BKA President Ziercke has been trying to figure out how to sneak trojans onto private computers for purposes of covert surveillance. In a lecture given in Osnabrück, Ziercke theorized that spyware might be installed unnoticed by sending an e-mail with a link to a fictitious report that family members have been "injured in an accident." In this way recipients could be motivated to click on the link, installing the government surveillance trojan and making it possible to monitor everything on the hard disk. 

Despite spooky prospects of this kind, criticism of the war conservative Christian Democrats are waging against a newly constituted "Jihad 2.0" continues to be muted. Critics have printed up T-shirts with a blacked-out mug shot of Schäuble and under it the lettering "Stasi 2.0" in protest of the incursions on privacy, a reference to the East German secret police. And members of Germany's federal parliament, the Bundestag, from the Left Party and Klaus Uwe Benneter of the Social Democrats have declared the Interior Minister to be "out of his mind."

But there is also criticism from political experts with experience in this area and from prominent legal scholars which Schäuble should be taking more seriously. One of his predecessors in office, Gerhart Rudolf Baum of the market liberal Free Democratic Party, accuses the CDU minister of being "disproportionate" in his response. Baum, who helped to lodge a constitutional complaint against the storage of connection data, warns that the fight against terror is being portrayed increasingly as "war in a state of crisis" so that Germany will take the "American route."  

So what makes Schäuble tick? Göttingen sociology professor Wolfgang Sofsky, author of "Das Prinzip Sicherheit" ("The Security Principle"), thinks Schäuble sees himself as having a spearhead function: "He's testing the water, trying to find out how far he can go at the moment." In Sofsky's view Schäuble is hoping that his policy of top-down familiarization will gradually get the German public used to what are currently still sensitive issues. 

Schäuble's critics are pinning their hopes on the country's highest court overturning the curbs on privacy and civil liberties as unconstitutional. They argue that current legislation gives the government effective weapons in the fight against terrorism. "We don't need to change any laws," says security expert Sofsky, who supports the undercover operations already being implemented, apparently on a large scale, by Western intelligence agencies. "Infiltration of the terrorist milieu by intelligence agencies is certainly the most effective form of prevention that is fully compatible with democratic rights and freedoms." Fixating on a tiny minority within the Muslim population, however, could have dangerous and unwanted side effects when it comes to the acceptance of minorities in Germany. 

The controversy that has gone on thus far has led media commentators to sow discord and mistrust against immigrants in general. "In the future we're going to have to get used to the idea that we can't trust anybody," the mass circulation tabloid Bild wrote in the wake of the Cologne bombers case. "Neither the well-behaved student who has been granted asylum here, nor the döner kebab cook nor the waiter with his Arabian eyes." 

Making blanket judgements like this about immigrants being potential enemies within aggravates a problem that ought to be just as much a cause for concern as the jihadists -- the withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of young people into their parallel societies. According to a study carried out by Joachim Müller, a researcher at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence at Germany's Bielefeld University, the more time Turkish or other young people spend enclosed in their own ethnic groups, the greater the likelihood is that they will approve of Islamic fundamentalist thinking and succumb to ideologies that preach violence. A lack of integration in German society can be just as explosive as canisters and suitcases that have been turned into bombs. While everyone talks about the risks posed by jihadism, Müller notes, the explosive potential of a failed integration policy in Germany has not yet been adequately assessed.