• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Terrorism in Europe
'11 terror plots foiled in Germany since 2000'
The Brussels attackers captured on security camera footage in the minutes before the attack at the Belgian capital's airport. Photo: DPA

'11 terror plots foiled in Germany since 2000'

DPA/The Local · 29 Mar 2016, 15:10

Published: 29 Mar 2016 15:10 GMT+02:00

After the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22nd killed 35 people, fear of terrorism has once again taken centre stage across Europe.

So far though, the Bundesrepublik (Federal Republic) has been spared from misery - often thanks to the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), Germany's own version of the FBI.

Since the turn of the millennium, 11 planned terrorist attacks on Germany have been averted by the federal agency, BKA chief Holger Münch told Bavarian broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk on Tuesday morning.

"We can see from the past that Islamism is also present in Germany. Our current situation is not just luck, but also due to good cooperation between the security forces."

Though the last terror attack on German soil dates back to 2011, when two American servicemen were shot dead at Frankfurt airport, the 54-year-old takes the threat seriously.

SEE ALSO: German airports on high alert after Brussels explosions

"Europe, including Germany, is among the countries on the target list of Islamist terrorism," he explained. "We assume that there is a high risk of attack here."

He concedes that there currently 470 people likely to threaten public safety in the country, "and the numbers have been on the rise in recent years."

BKA spokespeople supplied The Local with a list of the 11 attacks foiled by the agency.

It includes planned explosives, firearms and suicide bomb attacks targeted at trains, Jewish, Israeli, and American institutions, Christmas markets, visiting foreign dignitaries and far-right party officials.

The most recent blocked attack was uncovered in 2013.

BKA chief Holger Münch; Photo: DPA

Europe-wide reach

In comparison to its European partners though, the Bundesrepublik has been mostly unscathed.

Germany was a "transit country" with "no direct link" to the terrorists in the most recent attacks, Münch said.

The continent's "terrorism capital", France, reported 51 attacks in 2014 alone, most of them from separatist groups, a report by the European Union law enforcement agency Europol found.

And that's still an improvement still over the 63 cases in 2013 and 125 in 2012.

With 774 terrorism-related arrests reported by Europol in 2014 - the latest year for which full figures are available -  police forces across the EU have been trying to thwart the surge in violence.

France led the field with 238 arrests, Spain followed at 145 and the UK came in third with 132.

In Germany, meanwhile, just 18 people were arrested - despite the country being home to several hotspots for fundamentalist views, including in some districts of Berlin and parts of the Rhineland.

Europe has suffered a number of major Islamic fundamentalist terror attacks on its capital cities since the turn of the 21st Century.

Story continues below…

The most destructive came in Madrid in 2004, when 10 bombs detonated on a train in the Spanish capital leaving 191 people dead and 600 wounded.

London suffered a major bomb attack the following year on its Underground metro and bus networks, which claimed the lives of 52 people and injuring hundreds of others.

And Paris suffered the massacre of 13 journalists and cartoonists at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, prompting a mass outpouring of international support that was tragically repeated in November after a terrorist group killed 130 people with bombs, drive-by shootings and a mass hostage-taking.

One member of the Paris group, Saleh Abdeslam, is believed to have also been linked to the group that carried out the Brussels bombings in March this year and was arrested just four days before the blasts.

Abdeslam reportedly travelled through Germany to pick up suspected accomplices in the weeks before the Paris attacks.

Security sources suggested that he may have been planning attacks in the Federal Republic before his arrest.

SEE ALSO: What we know about extremism in Germany

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Brexit vote
'It won't be romantic. But I need an EU passport'
Lucy Thomas (left), director at Give Something Back to Berlin. Photo: Private

British expats in Berlin tell The Local that a week after the Brexit vote they are still stunned - and are considering their next steps.

Town ravaged by floods tries to pick up the pieces
Rebuilding in Simbach. Photo: DPA

July 2nd should have been the start of a new life for Anna Kluchan and her husband. But then the floods came.

Lufthansa finally buries hatchet with cabin staff
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa and its cabin staff said Thursday they had reached an agreement on working conditions, bringing to an end a long and bitter industrial dispute that hit thousands of passengers.

Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Merkel demands German vote on EU free trade deal
Photo: DPA

Angela Merkel said the German parliament should be consulted on the EU's free trade deal with Canada, setting her on a collision course with the European Commission.

Red-faced pensioner declares war on pre-recorded sexline
Photo: DPA

An 84-year-old from Bavaria has reported a sex hotline to police after it let down his expectations of late night lust - and then charged him through the nose.

Brexit vote
Brexit 'doesn't pose big risk' to German economy
Car manufacturing at Volkswagen. Photo: DPA

While the financial markets have been thrown into disarray by the Brexit vote, leading experts on the German labour market say the country is easily strong enough to cope.

Berlin colony says no to more 'non-Germans' in its gardens
One of the many small garden colonies in Germany. Photo: DPA.

A public Berlin garden colony has come under fire for denying two Turkish families allotment spaces, saying there are already too many 'non-Germans' using the allotments.

Germany experiences highest birth rate in 15 years
Photos: DPA

Germany is experiencing a mini baby boom - but a veritable "death boom" is more than balancing out the score sheet.

Monsanto still 'open' to deal with German chemical giant
An Indian Monsanto farmer seen at work in 'Sweet Corn' field at Monsanto Bangalore Centre. Photo: EPA.

Monsanto said on Wednesday it was still open to a potential merger with Bayer, or to another big deal, as it reported lower earnings due to a tough agricultural market.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,912
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd