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Public for Syria mission – but fear terror at home

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Public for Syria mission – but fear terror at home
A Tornado jet belonging to the Luftwaffe (air force) (l) and police patrolling with submachine guns at Berlin main train station. Photos: DPA
08:45 CET+01:00
As MPs prepare to vote on sending German pilots over Syria, opinion polls show a majority of the public are in favour of Germany joining France and other allies in military action against Isis abroad.

In broadcaster ARD's Deutschlandtrend poll released on Friday morning, 58 percent of people said that they agreed that Germany should offer military support against Isis while 37 percent disagreed.

Among those in favour of military action, most – 59 percent – agreed with the government's decision to limit German military involvement to reconnaissance and air refuelling planes.

But 34 percent of them thought that Germany should join France, Britain, the US and other allies in actively bombing Isis positions on the ground – while 22 percent thought German ground troops should be sent to Syria.

Fear of terror attacks grows

A majority of Germans – 54 percent – think that the country is well-defended against terrorist attacks.

More than a third – 36 percent – of people said they were more vigilant in everyday life for suspicious people or objects.

And 25 percent of respondents said they were now avoiding large gatherings of people such as Christmas markets and train stations.

The survey also showed a resurgence in concern about a terror attack in Germany just weeks after the attacks in Paris, with 61 percent afraid.

That was a lot more than in January, when 45 percent of people were worried about terror in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

But it still isn't the peak for this year. In July, following attacks in Tunisia and Kuwait, 63 percent of Germans feared terrorist attacks at home.

A follow-up question found that 63 percent of people believed joining military action in Syria would increase the danger of terrorism at home.

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