Opinion: Be alert after terror arrests - not alarmist | Opinion | DW | 07.02.2016
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Opinion: Be alert after terror arrests - not alarmist

After arrests during anti-terror raids, the fear of attacks in Germany has grown. Yet millions will join Monday's Carnival parade festivities, DW's Christoph Strack writes. That is an expression of strength.

Alexanderplatz, Checkpoint Charlie ... maybe somewhere else in Berlin.

After several terror suspects were arrested on Thursday, it seemed as if German media outlets were running a pool on the most likely site for attacks. And then, only four days after the raids, the significant achievements of security forces - including the federal police's new anti-terror unit - were barely mentioned in the Sunday papers.

Many Germans believe that the country is under threat of attack. In Bonn and Cologne, for example, two terrorist plots have failed in recent years. But panic does not prevail.


DW's Christoph Strack

One of the men arrested last week appears to have easily entered Germany with his wife on false claims that he was a Syrian refugee from Aleppo. Believed to really be from Algeria, he allegedly has direct ties to "Islamic State" and possibly even to one of the murderers who took part in attacks in Paris in November.

The arrests demonstrate the attentiveness of the authorities and the benefits of international cooperation. The men's activities were only in the "early stages," investigators said - making a case against alarmism. Federal and state security forces are needed, and they are getting the job done. That is how things should work.

Look at Braunschweig

Society is vacillating between vigilance and normalcy. Surveys show that concerns are growing. Many Germans expect that events will be canceled or access restricted if safety cannot be guaranteed.

On Carnival Sunday 2015, authorities canceled the parade in the German city of Braunschweig at the last minute because of attack fears. This Sunday, the city would not be cowed.

Carnival is not a civic duty, and it should never become one. Nor should the Bundesliga soccer matches that host hundreds of thousands of fans every weekend. But one thing is for sure: If millions celebrate Carnival Monday in Cologne, Dusseldorf and Mainz, then the voice of pleasant normality will be heard - and that of admirable strength.

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