IPT News has reported that German police conducted counter-terrorism raids across the country during the week of January 13, 2020, arresting multiple alleged Islamists suspected of “planning a serious violent act endangering the state.”
According to German prosecutors, the suspected terrorists were of “Chechen origin from the Islamist scene.” Raids targeted cells in Berlin and three other states including North Rhine-Westphalia – a state with a significant Hizballah and Muslim Brotherhood presence as well.
The suspects reportedly conducted surveillance of multiple locations to target in terrorist attacks, possibly including a Berlin synagogue, after video footage of the building was discovered on a suspect’s cellphone.
Germany has been increasingly vigilant against Islamist terrorism after 12 people were killed in a 2016 truck ramming attack on a Berlin Christmas market. The terrorist, Tunisian national Anis Amri, had been denied asylum.
German security authorities have foiled nine Islamist terror plots since. In November, the country’s security authorities thwarted an Islamic State bomb plot.
Most terrorism analysts and observers continue to focus only on the attacks that succeeded. Exploring major attacks that could have transpired – but were foiled by security authorities – provides a more accurate understanding of overall terrorist threats. Reporting foiled, significant plots, and including these incidents in data-sets, can also help security authorities signal the virtues of specific counter-terrorism measures to a concerned public.
Last year, for example, jihadist terrorist attacks declined by roughly 50 percent in Europe following significant spikes in attacks the previous two years. Based on this data, some observers started to believe that the Islamic State threat was declining in Europe. But by including foiled jihadist plots, overall terrorist activity in 2018 was actually higher than any year before 2015, including the 2000s when al-Qaeda struck Europe in several high-profile attacks.
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