During a campaign rally for upcoming state elections in Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the Chancellor was asked whether terrorism came hand-in-hand with refugees to Germany.
Merkel responded that while terrorists may try to win over refugees, “the phenomenon of the Islamist terrorism of Isis is not a phenomenon that has come to us through refugees, but rather one which we’ve already had here before.”
The Chancellor also reiterated the conservative Union parties’ plans to confront terror threats by increasing police personnel and by boosting the powers of the state: “More personnel plus more power to intervene.”
“Through digitalization, through social media, through the so-called darknet – which is now in the media again because of the Munich shooting – we must constantly and continuously adapt,” Merkel added.
“That which was formerly video surveillance will soon also become facial recognition, for example.”
The country was shaken last month by a string of attacks occurring within a week, two of which were carried out by men who had sought asylum in Germany and have been linked to Islamist terrorism.
A 17-year-old who attacked train passengers with an axe near Würzburg was shot dead and police later found an Isis flag as well as other Islamist-related items in his bedroom. Six days later, a 27-year-old Syrian man blew himself up.
Amaq, a news agency linked to Isis, released videos purporting to be of both men, showing them pledging allegiance to the group.
Spiegel has reported that both men were at some point given advice by members of Isis.