That Berlin truck attack is going to cause problems for Merkel
Yesterday John Sexton provided a solid, blow by blow examination of the terror attack on Berlin’s Christmas market and it was indeed brutal. With a dozen dead and scores injured, this will be recorded as one of the more “successful” of the low tech, low budget Islamic terror attacks on European soil. The Daily Mail has an extensive collection of photos, videos and interviews from the scene and during the aftermath if you’re in the mood for some very depressing doom porn. But with the confirmed identification of the terrorist responsible for the carnage they also highlight the factor which could spell serious trouble for Chancellor Angela Merkel as she seeks another term in office next year.
A Pakistani asylum seeker believed to have used a hijacked 25-tonne lorry to murder 12 people and injure 48 more at a Berlin Christmas market had only been in Germany for months and was already known to police because of petty crime, it was revealed today.
The masked 23-year-old named as Naved B, who entered the country under a false name on New Year’s Eve 2015, turned off the truck’s lights before mounting the pavement at 40mph and ploughing through crowds of people enjoying mulled wine after work.
This story may be going off the rails in one regard this morning. We’re seeing reports out of Germany saying that officials there initially arrested the wrong guy and the real culprit is on the loose. If that winds up being true it would be in line with statements from the suspect who has been insisting that he wasn’t involved.
Still, no matter the origin of the actual attacker, it was obviously someone looking to engage in terrorism. And if they either do have the right guy or it winds up being a different immigrant, you can imagine the sort of blow this is to Merkel and her party, widely viewed as the authors of policies which brought a flood of Syrian and Iraqi migrants into the country. While crime spiraled upwards and nervous native Germans grew increasingly alarmed, Merkel was defending her policies as recently as August of this year, insisting that the newcomers were not bringing terror and violence with them. (Reuters)
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution.
More than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and elsewhere arrived in Germany last year. The mood towards them has soured after a spate of attacks on civilians last month, including three carried out by migrants.
Two of those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State militant group.
Local media in Germany is reporting that the AfD wasted no time in laying the blame for the attack at the feet of Merkel’s open door policies. (The Long Room)
Angela Merkel has faced a furious backlash over her open-doors policy on immigration after the deadly lorry attack on a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin.
The suspected radical Islamic attacker – a bogus asylum seeker who came to the country on February under a false name – murdered 12 and injured dozens gathered at the market last night.
German chancellor Merkel, 62, has come under huge political pressure for allowing nearly a million people fleeing conflict and poverty in the Middle East and Africa to arrive in the country this year and last.
And last night she faced an anger from the far-right anti-migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party with prominent member Marcus Pretzell tweeting: ‘When will the German state of law strike back? When will this cursed hypocrisy finally stop? These are Merkel’s dead! (hash)Nice (hash)Berlin.’
Merkel at least seems to be starting to come to grips not only with the reality of the situation but the sensibilities and concerns of her voters. Just a few weeks ago we talked about her not terribly subtle shift in attitude toward the Islamic immigrants, most pointedly demonstrated by her sudden reversal and support of a burqa ban. That seemed to be a clear signal to the voters that she would rather meet them at least half way on the immigrant issue rather than getting the boot from her office. But at the same time, suddenly pressing for some sort of stunt like a ban on Muslim garb isn’t getting to the heart of the problem. It’s not the fact that there are people showing up in her country with the “wrong” sort of clothing, but rather the growing sense among actual Germans that their culture is being eroded from under their feet. And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of problems arising from an army of new “neighbors” who seem to include a lot of people who have absolutely no respect for their laws, say nothing of German customs and traditions. You only need to mix in a handful of full blown terrorists and the appeal for welcoming in all these refugees pretty much evaporates.
Merkel is a skilled politician with a lot of built-in credibility for another term so it’s conceivable that she can find a path to pivot away from her previous policies and win back the support of the German people. But if she has many more attacks such as this one which wind up being pinned on Syrian “refugees” I seriously doubt that she can save herself at the polls next year.