Today, a 17-year-old Syrian male is being held by German police for being suspected of planning a suicide attack in Berlin. The man was arrested in the Uckermark region of Brandenburg, Germany. The suspicions of his attack arose from an electronic message to his mother, which illustrated his planned attack. German security officials received their information from other German states and have been on high alert due to the rising number of attacks. The Syrian teen was living in a home for unaccompanied underage refugees since 2016. He is currently being questioned. The apprehension of the suspect is due to the increased security measures that the German government has taken following an attack in December of 2016.
In December of 2016, a Tunisian migrant known as Anis Amri drove his truck through a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12 people. Amri hijacked the truck from a Polish driver who was shot dead as he fought for his life. Amri spent some time in jail in Italy after an arson attack on his school. According to German officials, Amri was in contact with an ISIS recruitment network and had previously discussed planning an attack in Germany. He was able to make it through two borders before he was stopped in France, where gunfire ensued and he was shot to death. Although this is not the only attack or planned attack, Germany has been taking steps to create a safer environment and protect its citizens from terrorism.
In 2016, the German government responded to a mass shooting in Munich with proposed measures to combat terrorism. Despite Germany welcoming a large number of refugees, they have closely monitored the refugees and have enhanced surveillance of the individuals. The proposals call for “more federal police officers, making it a crime to express sympathy for terrorism, greater sharing of intelligence data across Europe, closer surveillance of the “dark web,” the removal of dual citizenship for German citizens that fight for extremist groups, and the simplification of deportation of foreigners who are considered dangerous.”
The proposals all strengthen the federal governments intelligence-gathering powers, which can create uneasy tensions in a country known for its protection of privacy. With the terrorism threat instilling fear in all, many countries have taken measures to combat terrorism. It is unfortunate to see victims of the Manchester arena bombing state that their bags were not properly screened. However, as the attacks continue, more security measures will be put in place to prevent such things.
It is somewhat hopeful that the German officials were able to gather intelligence and tip offs from other German officials for a possible attack and apprehend the suspect before he took any action.