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Islamist Terrorism Biggest Threat to Germany, Minister Says

DW staff / DPA (kjb)
May 15, 2008

Islamist terrorism is the greatest threat to the security and stability of Germany, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in Berlin on Thursday, May 15.

Symbolic graphic of a map of Germany with a target imprinted on it and a man with his face covered holding a machine gun
Terrorists have their eye on Germany, according to a recent reportImage: Montage DW/AP

Germany had been lucky to escape terrorist attacks because of preventive measures taken by the security services, the minister said in presenting the annual report of the nation's domestic intelligence service.

The report by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution said Islamist terrorists are increasingly setting their sights on Germany and view the country as an "operational area."

It said Islamists regard Germany as a Crusader nation and also see it as an ally of the United States and Israel -- two of the biggest foes of Muslim militants.

Germany's growing military presence in Afghanistan and its involvement in training Iraqi security forces had made it a target for Islamic terrorists, the report said.

The document also spoke of a growing climate of anti-Semitism among right-wing extremists in Germany. It said neo-Nazis were making increased use of the Internet and music to reach out to other sections of the population, particularly young people.

The report said the number of politically motivated crimes in Germany decreased slightly in 2007 to 28,538. The number of violent crimes by neo-Nazis also dipped slightly to 833. According to the report, there are 4,400 known neo-Nazis in Germany, 200 more than in 2006.

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