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Friedrich: 1,000 potential terrorists in Germany

The Local · 5 Sep 2011, 13:16

Published: 05 Sep 2011 13:16 GMT+02:00

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"We have almost 1,000 people who could be described as possible Islamist terrorists," he told the Bild daily, adding that 128 could be considered 'dangerous" and capable of committing attacks.

He said that around 20 of those had received training in camps associated with terror groups and that these individuals were under surveillance by the country's security services.

Friedrich added that he thought there was little chance of a repetition of the scale of the terror attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 that brought down the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center.

"We dispose of a wide range of modern security methods and we are investigating at the very heart of extremist networks," he said.

The al-Qaida network, blamed for the New York attacks, has been diminished by the recent death of its leader Osama bin Laden but it still represented a threat, he added.

However, Friedrich estimated that the major danger was posed by individuals acting alone because they are more difficult to identify and track.

He was speaking after the opening in Germany last week of the trial of a 21-year-old man from Kosovo who said he was acting alone under the influence of Islamist propaganda when he killed two US soldiers who were heading to Afghanistan by way of Germany in March.

In her weekly address on Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the fight against terrorism has still to be won a decade on from the 9/11 attacks and defended Germany's unpopular participation in the Afghan conflict Saturday.

"Osama bin Laden is dead, but terrorism has not yet been defeated," Merkel said.

She also defended Germany's military role in the conflict in Afghanistan where bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders were based at the time of the organization's attacks on September 11. 2001.

"We must be prepared to fight" to defend democracy, Merkel said, adding that Germany would continue the fight against terrorism alongside its allies.

Germany forms the third-largest contingent of foreign troops in Afghanistan, with some 5,400 soldiers in the north under NATO command, despite polls showing a strong majority of the public opposed to its participation.

Story continues below…

The German parliament approved a 12-month extension of the unpopular Afghanistan mission in January, but with the proviso for the first time that troops start coming home from the end of 2011 if security allows.

Merkel also welcomed the wave of popular revolts against Arab regimes and said they were proof that "throughout the world people are fighting for freedom and want to build democracy".

"Freedom and democracy are the best answers to terrorism and threats," she said.

AFP/The Loca/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:11 September 5, 2011 by yourholiness
That estimate is on the very low side I would guess. Its a political number I of course.
14:11 September 5, 2011 by freechoice
i still believe 911 is an inside job. how could so many 'terrorists' bypass the world's most extensive intelligence network and perform all the stuffs they did with so much coordinated efforts without the trigger of red flag across the country? did anybody found out the massive insurance payouts to the owners of those towers?
14:18 September 5, 2011 by storymann
freechoice, there were many signs that an attack was imminent but the Federal agencies were reluctant to share intel, and no one wanted to go out on the limb alone. The new monster "HomeLand Security " was put in place to correct this.
14:21 September 5, 2011 by marimay
At the very least the US government turned a blind eye and allowed it to happen. Those pulling the strings have been itching to take over Iraq's oil supply for a long time before that. Hence all the lying to the American public to invade, despite its irrelevance to 9/11.

Besides, it wasn't a plane that hit the Pentagon. ;)
14:36 September 5, 2011 by freechoice

but the hollywood movies told us a different story! there will always be heroes in America!
14:44 September 5, 2011 by nec123
Minister Hans-Peter forgot the kurdish PKK terrorists settled in Germany who controls drug traffic?
15:00 September 5, 2011 by oldWine
and how many terrorists like the one in Norway who massacred many young?

And how many neo nazi criminals who make normal people life hell?

And can the land lords who cheat the foreigners by ghostly bill can be called terrorist?
15:25 September 5, 2011 by catjones
german politicians have a knack for the stupid. Everyone in the intelligence world knows there are 1002 potential Islamist terrorists living here, but only 124 are considered 'dangerous" and capable of committing attacks, the others are just kidding around potential Islamist terrorists.
15:25 September 5, 2011 by Al uk
One of the many benefits of multi culturism :-)
15:35 September 5, 2011 by freechoice
what about paedopiles and sex peverts? they terrorised young children too! are they on the list?
16:19 September 5, 2011 by storymann
freechoice,,That sure is the truth,God Bless Hollywood
16:33 September 5, 2011 by michael4096
The number is too low for my agenda therefore it must be political! - yeah, right

It's all because of multi cuturalism! Really? I suppose the RAF, with many, many more members than these terrorists, were because of multi-culturalism too

We tend to think of people resorting to violence in support of their religeous, political or social agenda as something invented recently. Actually, it goes back centuries and if Germany can only muster 1000 'wishers' with 128 'maybe doers' then this is probably the safest period for a long time.

16:35 September 5, 2011 by MonkeyMania
And how many capable of being a German version of Anders Behring Breivik? I suspect a few potentials on this forum judging from the comments read on TL.
16:37 September 5, 2011 by raandy
I would like to know how they arrived at the even number of potential terrorist as 1000,and then for the number of those capable of carrying out attacks as 128, why not 130 or 125 , 128? or go for broke and make it 501.
16:40 September 5, 2011 by yourholiness
@ michael4096

If you believe that number has nothing to do with politics then I have a bridge I want to sell you. And you have your choice: the Brooklyn, Queens or 59th street bridge. I would offer you the World Trade Center but thats not available. Nothing to do with multiculturalism of course.
17:13 September 5, 2011 by michael4096

I assume you keep reiterating your agenda in the hope that somebody, somewhere might take it seriously. Who knows maybe one day someone will


I don't think many posters here count in the stats - it clearly says "live in Germany" :)
17:29 September 5, 2011 by yourholiness
@ MonkeyMania

I suspect the number capable of being Arid Uka is far greater.

Nothing to do with multiculturalism of course.
18:08 September 5, 2011 by Lachner
I think these kind of articles are idiotic. They are telling the public that they have 1,000 suspects under surveillance and that 20 of these are considered "dangerous", but yet they mention nothing about arrests or deportation or why are the other 980 under surveillance. Sure, let's let them know via the media that we are watching them so that they can hide further and then let them know that we are not going to arrest them, just "watching" them.

I think that Germany is underestimating the terrorists groups and what they are capable of. If they attack the main transportation centers (trains, buses or airports), they could inflict some serious damage and would cause massive chaos. I do hope that some arrests are being made, because this is a very peaceful and beautiful country that should remain that way.
18:19 September 5, 2011 by Al uk
@micheal4096 what on earth as the RAF got to do with this?
18:26 September 5, 2011 by michael4096
@Al -- RAF in Germany = Rote Armee Fraktion = Terrorist (sort of)
18:29 September 5, 2011 by LiberalGuy
The main reason I can never find myself supporting the 'right' these days is this whole politics of fear that they have all adopted. Instead of being proactive and coming out and saying 'we have made such and such arrests, or we are on top of the terriost threat' they say there are 1000 (where do they get that number) 'potential' (what's their potential? I had potential to be a professional rugby player when I was younger but that didn't work out) terriosts. 20 or so are considered dangerous (if their dangerous why are they out on the streets? They look up protesters every Mayday for potentially being trouble makers, whats the diff?) It's nothing more than a stupid statement from a poltician who's party is in trouble trying to keep the fear alive. After all it's only the right that's tough on terrorism (good job Bush egtting Osama, oh wait...) Soon they will be looking for an extension or enhancement of anti terror laws. This movie is getting old, and very tiring...
18:46 September 5, 2011 by derExDeutsche
judging by this comment section;

The Holocaust never really happened

9/11 is a Lie

Mahmud Ahmadinejad is misrepresented by the press

Fox News is the Devil

Americans are the real Terrorists

Capitalism has failed, and we need a bigger Government

am I missing anything?
19:05 September 5, 2011 by marimay
Yeah. You're a sheep.
19:13 September 5, 2011 by derExDeutsche
19:23 September 5, 2011 by Al uk
@micheal i had another RAF in mind. Thanks for clearing that up.
19:25 September 5, 2011 by storymann
derExDeutsche THAT is a great come back !!!(:
19:39 September 5, 2011 by marimay
It would be great if I were pro-Obama. But, no, sorry.
19:49 September 5, 2011 by raandy
Liberal Guy I love it when you write like that ,

Marimay I would call this a draw.
22:15 September 5, 2011 by georgekl
The game of politics: so obvious, so misleading and untrue.

We need the world to become a better place but,! for everyone.

You cannot build on lies.

10:49 September 6, 2011 by Asgarli
Everyone that has to deal with Auslanderbehorde is a potential terrorist...
16:30 September 6, 2011 by toemag
I like potentials, as they have potential :-)

Just how many potential, Murderers, Thieves, Embezzlers etc did they identify and decide to place under observation???
17:07 September 6, 2011 by bramblebush
I am wondering, how many of these potential terrorists are immigrants and how many of them will be deported? I am also wondering, why none of them will ever be deported? Is there a reason that an auslander can commit crimes in Germany and still not be deported?
18:20 September 6, 2011 by peeboy
Well I wonder what is the criteria for deeming someone as potentially dangerous threat. Thinking about doing a crime is different from committing a crime.
18:20 September 7, 2011 by mkvgtired
@marimay and freechoice, I guess the Russian government turned a blind eye in Beslan and Moscow, the Brits in London, the Spanish in Madrid, the Indians in Mumbai and Deli, etc. etc. After all this is all blown out of proportion. No one hates the West.

Get a clue, I know it is much easier to blame big bad government, but please try to use your brain for a couple minutes to piece together reality.

@derExDeutsche, exactly
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