Countering Terrorist and Closing Security Gaps - Germany
Countering terrorism and violent extremism requires a comprehensive approach that also takes measures to address the political, social and economic causes. Another goal is to strengthen the rule of law. It is good to mention that, respect for human rights is a fundamental issue.
The German government plays an active role in international counter-terrorism coalition. The dismantling of the "ISIS caliphate" in 2017 and the intensified efforts of intelligence and law enforcement agencies to combat terrorists, mean that serious attacks, which occurred in Europe between 2014 and 2017, are becoming less likely now.
Neither the 2015 migration crisis nor the return of foreign fighters from ISIS has resulted in a threat to Europe's security thus far, although rejected migrants and asylum seekers have repeatedly carried out or attempted attacks.
Unfortunately an intelligence failure led to the Vienna attack in November 2020, when a "jihadist" attacked a number of innocent civilians with a machine gun. In recent years, EU countries have filled these security gaps that terrorists can exploit, for example in the field of finance, however, the European still faces dangers.
Security cooperation Danish and German authorities arrested fourteen suspects in an anti-terror operation on 12th-Feb, 2021 on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack, according to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service.
The agency, known as PET, said in a statement that it had arrested thirteen suspects in separate incidents, and that German authorities had arrested another person in a case related to the investigation. The agency said, it arrested seven people between February 6 and 8 2021on charges of planning to carry out terrorist operations.
The suspects were charged with possession of "explosive-making materials", and incitement to commit the crime. The agency said court - 40 miles west of Copenhagen - had earlier ordered the detention of six other people, adding that those individuals were "all involved in the case". The agency reported:"We believe that there are individuals who have the intent and capacity to commit terrorist attacks in Denmark and in Germany, Here, the importance of regional and international security cooperation to confront terrorism that knows no borders appears. It also shows the importance of preventive operations in combating extremism and terrorism.
Germany and Europe have witnessed many terrorist operations, over the past years by terrorist groups who were only recently released from prison and were in contact with de-radicalization programs. These incidents raise the question of how to prevent or at least significantly reduce the risk of terrorists returning to extremist organizations again. Therefore, actors involved in prevention work need to take a look at the effectiveness of de-radicalization efforts.
The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in cooperation with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) organized an international virtual workshop in May 2020 on how to prevent the recidivism of violent Islamic extremists. This workshop was held as part of the International Forum for Expert Exchange on Countering Islamic Extremism (InFoEx), providing BAMF's government network partners and civil society partners a platform to discuss challenges and good practices with several external experts.
- Program officials should establish coherent support networks to address needs and challenges after release.
- Those responsible for extremism and terrorism prevention programs should be aware of current trends online and offline and should have an open discussion about the re-recruitment efforts that ex-prisoners are likely to encounter.
- Researchers should study closely why some individuals re-engage in extremism and terrorism, with the goal being to avoid unnecessary measures.
-All actors, including also the prison administration and security services, must make clear what can realistically be achieved through the prevention of the third degree of violent extremism inside and outside the prison context.
- Enhancing security cooperation and information exchange at the national, regional and international levels.
by: Bonn- Jassim Mohamad