These German stories really didn't get enough attention, Mr Trump

Jörg Luyken
Jörg Luyken - [email protected] • 7 Feb, 2017 Updated Tue 7 Feb 2017 15:33 CEST
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Donald Trump thinks Islamist terrorism in Germany is under-reported in the international media. Maybe he should try looking at far-right violence instead.

On Monday the White House included six incidents in Germany on a list of terror attacks which Washington claims didn’t receive enough media attention.

Contrary to the White House’s claim, each one made it into the international media, on top of receiving extensive coverage in Germany. The bigger incidents, such as the Berlin truck attack, were front page news across the world for days.

One of the incidents, an unsolved stabbing in Hamburg, has never been proven to be linked to Islamism.

The reality is that there has been a recent spike in all kinds of political violence in Germany in recent years, not just that of an Islamist bent. But when this violence is carried out by “native” Germans, it attracts far less international attention.

Huge rise in far-right violence

Crime statistics for 2015 show that politically motivated crime by the far right perpetrators rose by an astonishing 34.9 percent over 2014 to 23,000 reported incidents.

In one case in July 2015, a left-wing politician's car was blown up in the town of Freital on the outskirts of Dresden.

Hate crimes - those directed against specific social groups, such as Muslims, Jews, or homosexuals - also soared by 77 percent in comparison with 2014.

Attacks on refugee homes increased by a factor of five between 2014 and 2015, from 199 reported cases to 1,031. In 2016 the number of such attacks reportedly remained stubbornly high, at 970.

When the crime figures were released in May 2016, they were covered by the Guardian and the Independent in the UK. The Wall Street Journal covered them, but decided to focus on how the refugee crisis was destabilizing Germany.

Far-right radical murders cop

In October 2016, police in Bavaria raided the house of a self-declared "Reichsbürger" in order to seize illegally held weapons from him.

During the raid in Georgensgmünd, Bavaria the right-wing extremist immediately opened fire and injured four police officers, one of whom died due to his injuries.

The leader of Germany's BfV domestic security agency told DPA in January that there are an estimated 10,000 Reichsbürger across the country, and about 500 to 600 of them are considered right-wing extremists.

Reichsbürger often come into confrontation with police because of their refusal to recognize German law, and often set up their own “governments”, forging their own forms of identification.

The murder of the police officer in October was reported in a handful of UK publications and the New York Times.

It was not covered by the online editions of major US outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and USA Today.

On Trump’s list of "under-reported" terror attacks was the stabbing of a police officer by a teenage girl in Hanover in February last year. The Isis-inspired attack did not prove to be fatal. Nonetheless, the case made the pages of the Telegraph, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, among others.

Dresden mosque bombing

Two homemade bombs were planted at a mosque and an international convention centre in the eastern city of Dresden in September last year, just days before Angela Merkel was due in the city for Reunification Day celebrations.

No one was injured in the blasts, but the imam of the mosque was inside the building at the time, along with his family.

In December, police arrested a 30-year-old in connection with the attack. Bild reported that the man had spoken at a rally by the far-right Pegida movement, railing against "criminal foreigners" and "lazy Africans".

The bomb attack was reported upon by several international publications when it initially happened. But by the time police arrested the man behind the attack, the international media had completely lost interest. Al Jazeera and Fox News were two of the few news sites which followed up on the story, both publishing brief articles.

Anti-Jewish terror plot

On January 25th, German police conducted nationwide raids against a group believed to be plotting attacks against police, Jews and asylum seekers.

Around 200 police officers were deployed to search 12 apartments and other buildings connected to the group in six states.

Officers discovered weapons, a large amount of ammunition and explosive materials in the course of the raids, according to federal prosecutors.

Two men were arrested, accused of forming a terrorist organization.

The raids attracted limited attention in the international media, with a few outlets (including Breitbart) publishing the same AFP article on the arrests.

In contrast, terror raids against an Isis-linked group a week later on February 1st which resulted in one arrest were covered by dozens of international news outlets. The group was also accused of plotting a terror attack, which was said to be in its early stages of preparation.

The Guardian and New York Times were two news outlets which sent their own journalists to cover the story, rather than rely on news agencies.



Jörg Luyken 2017/02/07 15:33

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