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Most Germans unruffled by terrorism alerts

The Local · 1 Dec 2010, 11:58

Published: 01 Dec 2010 10:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Dec 2010 11:58 GMT+01:00

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Two weeks after Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told the nation there were “concrete indications” of an imminent attack, the Stern magazine poll reported that 86 percent of respondents were not scared or were hardly scared of an attack.

Just 4 percent said they had a “very great fear” and 9 percent had a “great fear” of terrorism.

Nor have the country's traditional Christmas markets been hit by the warnings, in spite of popular speculation that they are a prime target. Police union boss Rainer Wendt said last month: "As long as the Christmas markets are going, we have to assume there could be an attack at any time."

Just 5 percent, meanwhile, had changed their personal behaviour in response to the warning, which in most cases meant avoiding heavily visited spots such as tourist attractions.

Respondents also gave the government good grades for its management of the situation. Exactly two thirds praised the alerts as appropriate security measures. Some 18 percent felt the alerts were an overreaction, while 10 percent felt the government had downplayed the danger.

The Forsa polling firm surveyed 1002 representative, eligible voters on November 24 and 25, which were the days immediately after the Reichstag dome was closed to the public amid the terrorism fears.

Meanwhile, the head of the Bundestag’s interior committee, Wolfgang Bosbach of the conservative Christian Democratic Union, said Wednesday that citizens should expect heightened security measures to remain for at least the next several weeks.

On November 17, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière warned the nation of “concrete” concerns that there would be a terrorist attack within the month. The government ramped up security at transportation hubs and government buildings, even closing the dome of the Reichstag parliamentary building to tourists indefinitely.

Story continues below…

“Over the next weeks we will not be in a position to scale back the security measures,” Bosbach told news agency DAPD. “After that we will re-evaluate.”

The Local/DAPD/dw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:25 December 1, 2010 by Landmine
What is to be scared about some some people making threats from the middle of the desert. Most of them cannot even read or have a bank account.

Good to hear the Germans are not scared!
12:50 December 1, 2010 by steve_glienicke
Personally i think people should read the horror stories of the victims from the 7/7 bombings in London to get the full picture of what it is like to be in that situation, and then evaluate if the risk is worth taking, i'll not be taking my children to any potential hotspots in Berlin, their lives are worth more than being macho about it, i could not live with myself if anything happened to them knowing i could have avoided it. Landmine no one gives a rats about people in the desert, they will not be coming over to bomb germany, it's extremists that were probably born in germany and are already here waiting for the go....

All the idiots in London on the tube and bus blasts were British born, with British citizenship and British passports!
13:13 December 1, 2010 by freechoice
Und ve Germans vill not be bowed down by any threats...
13:48 December 1, 2010 by PawD
That's the true spirit in which we should treat terror threats... India should learn something from this!
14:03 December 1, 2010 by Alofat
@steve_glienicke: You also should check out the accounts of people who were in a car, plane or train accident because those are more likely to happen to you and yours. So make sure you build yourself and your family a nice, little and cosy bunker were you can live your lives in peace and be sure nothing ever happens to you.
14:30 December 1, 2010 by dbert4
@Some people either choose to forget, aren't old enough to remember or possibly aren¦#39;t educated enough to know that Europe in general and Germany in particularly spent the 1970's & 1980's dealing with the PLO, Israelis, Red Brigade, Bäder Meinhof, IRA and others kidnapping, blowing-up and shooting up their countries.
14:48 December 1, 2010 by steve_glienicke
dbert4 yes completely right, and those who remember or have 1st hand seen the aftermath of a bomb blast can respect more the damage it can do.

Alofat, im not saying i should wrap up in cotton wool, but when you get a warning that a bus is coming, do you still step into the road in front of it? as a responsible perent i need to weigh up whats best, miss a xmas market or put my family in potential danger, i know what i choose, no one can avoid death or death from a accident, but when your warned your automatic reaction is to try and avoid and not walk into that bus!
14:59 December 1, 2010 by raandy
The fact that the German authorities are taking this serious indicates that there must be some creditable intel on this. There has not been a major attack here, so most people are taking this lightly. I hope this time next year we can say the same..
15:43 December 1, 2010 by melodyblues
not handicapped by terrorism threats?...what can one possibly do? stop going to work? stop living?! that's the dumbest inference anyone can make about how people 'brace themselves' in the wake of a terror alert!


India has been plagued by terror and insurgency since time immemorial... people still continue with their routine...and not stop living ...simply because they have to...it's a question of survival...and i'm assuming that would be the case in any other country also..

there is nothing to learn from terrorism! you can only be that much more alert as to not jeopardise your daily activities...because if an innocent looking child walks the bazaars of Mumbai ...even the world's best defence forces cannot suspect that could be a potential human bomb...

we already have witnessed children being used as human shields by terrorists...welcome to the real world!
18:29 December 1, 2010 by francislee
As I write this my wife and I should be in Cologne at the Christmas markets but we cancelled our trip from Scotland. We weighed up the risk factors and got as much information as we could. Yes. life has to go on, but would there be any pleasure taking a leisure trip under the current circumstances? We decided against it because to have armed police all over the place, even getting on and patroling through trains, does not make for a pleasant atmosphere. Yes they are doing their jobs in keeping the public safe and their prescence is reassuring but do you really want that on your holiday? The type of threat was also a concern. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time and a bomb goes off then that's fate, and we could accept that. It was the type of threat that concerned us, the Mumbai type of attack. We would obviously be at prime attack targets, The airport, railway stations and the markets. If we lived there we would have had to get on with our lives, like the locals are doing in Germany and other high risk Eurpoean countries including my own, but we had a choice and decided to err on the side of caution.
19:34 December 1, 2010 by DinhoPilot
All I can say is...

It's all a game. We are all players.

It is so tasteless many so people critizing other people point of view. Let people play the way they want...
22:06 December 1, 2010 by XFYRCHIEF
Every time someone cancels a holiday, avoids going to an event, or stays away from some location because of threats, the terrorists win. The intent of the terrorists is to disrupt your life, not kill you. Personally, living close to a large city, we still go whenever we can for all of the events. Do I want to die at the hands of a terrorist? Of course not. But I will not have my life dictated by fear. And, as someone else pointed out, I am more likely to die driving my car to get there.

As for the London incident, add up all of the casualties caused by other causes (crashes, fires, etc.) and the reality is that the "accidents" killed more than the terrorists.
22:31 December 1, 2010 by michael4096
@francislee - as you say, your choice

Shame though. I've not seen anything here out of the ordinary - security is almost zero and doubled still doesn't register. Christmas markets very cosy. Perhaps too much snow for comfort, but I guess your family doesn't need to leave home for that..
07:32 December 2, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
"An appeal to fear never finds an echo in German hearts." - von Bismarck
22:28 December 2, 2010 by Lakshmi72
I prefer to be rather safe than sorry.

I deeply feel with the Indians and others of countries, who were, indeed, victims of Islamist fanatism. I remember Djerba, too.

German converts to Islam worry me.
21:33 December 3, 2010 by surj
#15 Lakshmi72, " I deeply feel with the Indians and others of countries,who were ,indeed victims of Islamist fanaticism....." it is NOT " who were " ,but they are,indeed victims of Islamist fanaticism. Indians have and are suffered at the hands of Islamists for nearly 1000 years now.

steve_glienieck, agree wit you wholeheartedly see www.islam-watch.org and www.blip.tv/file/1382254 We should be vigilant
13:59 December 4, 2010 by chuckfm
I was frankly shocked this past week when I almost bumped into two Uzi carrying "Deutsche Polizisten". I assumed this must be the case, buit none the less shocking for me, when generally a greater police presence means simply more of them. Anyway my opinion is : we have to trust our own experts as to when to act. One famous expression is so often repeated here... Trust is good, control is better.

Crime or terror is often cowardly. If "their" presence is enough of deterrent then good. We have seen that in the end ( as exemplified in NYC) it is our own sense of something's not right that will be the greatest deterrent. Semper Vigilans
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