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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Terror shock for German press
File photograph of German soldier serving with International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan
There is concern over German troops' presence in Afghanistan

The German press has reacted with shock to the arrest of suspected Islamists who were allegedly planning massive bomb attacks in the country.

Reports that two of the three suspects held were German-born converts prompt soul-searching. Some commentators question whether integration problems can really be seen as a root cause of Islamist militancy.

BERTHOLD KOEHLER IN FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG

New York, Madrid, London - and now Frankfurt or Heidelberg? German cities were set to have been the next in the series of serious attacks with which Islamist terrorists want to shake the foundations of the West. Experience shows they can be allowed no room for manoeuvre or places to hide ... The next attack is perhaps already being planned.

RICHARD MENG IN FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU

It was Fritz and Daniel who were arrested with Adem, not Mohammed or Mustafa: it can no longer be denied that it is foolish to regard immigrants as a greater security threat than the indigenous population. It is even more foolish to make sweeping judgments about Islam. The debate about integration must also be treated in a less one-sided way. This police action has therefore thrown up many complex questions. Let's hope the simplifiers don't bury them.

JACQUES SCHUSTER IN BERLINER MORGENPOST

Europe, and with it Germany, still provides a comfortable niche for Islamists and it is this scope for freedom of action and thought that must be taken away from people like this. Their community of sympathisers can be diminished through intelligence work and peer pressure, which must come from the Muslim community. To achieve this, the government must increase the pressure on Muslims to integrate. Even peaceful parallel societies cannot be tolerated.

DENIZ YUECEL IN TAGESZEITUNG

The fact that the bomb-builders were German converts makes it obvious that Islamist terrorism is only partially linked to the issue of integrating immigrants into German society. The constant mingling of the two issues, therefore, is not helping to move the debate forward, for jihadism is not a folk tradition brought by immigrants from Anatolia or the Atlas mountains. We are in fact dealing with a modern political phenomenon that cannot be understood by looking for bloodthirsty or anti-Semitic passages in the Koran.

HERMANN RUDOLPH IN DER TAGESSPIEGEL

No matter how deeply historical analysis has probed the brew of ideological mania and power fantasies that drove the Baader-Meinhof terrorists, we still cannot understand what moves Islamist assassins to wage their war on Western civilisation. The fact that it was Germans who grew up in this country is convincing proof of this. Unlike in London or Madrid, we suffered no explosions, but the feeling of relative safety in which we have made ourselves comfortable has suffered massive damage.

STEPHAN SPEICHER IN BERLINER ZEITUNG

There is no point in denying that Germany is now, without a doubt, part of Islamist terrorism's sphere of action. The country's comparatively careful behaviour in the Middle East appears not to be helping it, so we will just have to learn to live with the threat of terror. At some point, people will die. It is surprising therefore, how calmly society is reacting, even though everyone must realise that the security agencies cannot be successful for ever.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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SEE ALSO
The press in Germany
31 Oct 06 |  Europe
Country profile: Germany
05 Sep 07 |  Country profiles

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