Germany has been in a state up upheaval for months, growing more restive with each new terrorist attack. And there have been many.
But mowing down families gathered for a traditional Christmas market in Berlin may be the final breaking point for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government.
She is seeking re-election next year to a fourth term, and some are calling for her to withdraw her candidacy after Monday’s jihad attack against a Christmas market in which a man killed 12 and injured 48 after hijacking a tractor-trailer and steering it into crowds of people sipping wine and shopping at festive crafts and jewelry booths.
A series of violent attacks and alarming sexual assaults by migrants has been testing public patience for months in Germany.
The recent arrival of some 1.3 million migrants in Germany has already served to feed the biggest rise in support for nationalist parties since World War II. In September, Merkel’s approval ratings dipped to a five-year low of 45 percent.
Here’s a list of the recent attacks wearing thin on an increasingly nervous German population, all of which bode ill for Merkel’s re-election campaign:
- On New Year’s Eve 2015, hundreds of sexual assaults, including at least 24 rapes, and numerous thefts were reported in Germany, mainly in Cologne city center. Similar incidents were reported in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Stuttgart and Bielefeld.
- On July 18, a 17-year-old Afghan refugee wielding an ax and a knife attacks passengers on a train in southern Germany, severely wounding four, before being shot dead by police. Islamic State claimed responsibility.
- On July 22, an 18-year-old Iranian-born gunman apparently acting alone killed nine people in Munich. The teenager had no known Islamist ties but was obsessed with mass killings.
- On July 24, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a pregnant woman and wounding two people with a machete in the southwestern German city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.
- That same day, a 27-year-old Syrian refugee wounded 15 people when he blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach in southern Germany. Islamic State claims responsibility.
- On Dec. 19, 12 people are slaughtered, dozens more injured, by a man who stole a heavy truck and plowed it into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin.
As a result of Monday’s truck attack, already-tight security has been further heightened at holiday events across the European continent.
The first man arrested in Monday’s attack, a 23-year-old Pakistani man who came to Germany as a refugee earlier this year, is now said by German authorities to be the “wrong man.” They say the real terrorist escaped after killing the truck driver, hijacking his truck and plowing it into the Christmas shoppers.
Confusion follows delusion
“This confusion, and the attack itself, are just more of bloody consequences of Merkel’s pro-Muslim migration policies,” author and blogger Pamela Geller tells WND. “She has unleashed disaster in Germany. Does she dare continue her re-election campaign? She has actually dared to run on a platform of saying that accepting the migrants was a mistake, while at the same time inundating Germany with more.”
Merkel, after welcoming more than a million Muslim refugees with open arms in 2015 and into the first half of 2016, did a sudden about-face after the terror attacks started piling up and the campaign season neared.
She said such a mass influx of refugees “should never be repeated” in Germany and has even talked about the need to “ban the burqa,” which is a full facial covering that the most extreme Islamists require their women to wear.
The shift represented a “remarkable and out-of-character about-face for the three-term chancellor, a departure from her trademark technocratic, low-key, no-nonsense style that reflects the shifting political winds in Europe,” analysts told the Washington Times.
But it may be too little, too late for Merkel’s future as a politician.
Germany has ‘lost control’ of growing Muslim enclaves
Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog for the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said Merkel’s government has already been weakened by the divisions caused in her own party by the unpopular refugee welcoming. And the Berlin attack merely underscores and deepens the divide. Her government appears confused and inept in the aftermath of the deadly truck attack.
“Clearly Merkel’s government has lost control of the situation. They don’t have any idea who the attacker is or where he is, because they have allowed for the development of so many Islamic enclaves where people like this attacker can hide and be protected,” Spencer told WND. “They have brought in so many Muslim migrants, among whom are an unknowable number of jihadis, and they can’t possibly keep track of them all.”
A message for the United States?
Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America,” sees another troubling aspect to the attack that applies the United States, which has seen eight bloody terror attacks on its soil over a recent period of less than 18 months – all carried out by Muslim migrants or sons of migrants.
“Another important question is: Will Democrats continue to demand that we also import these invaders?” Geller said in an email to WND. “We dodged a bullet (and a truck) with Hillary Clinton, who pledged to increase Muslim ‘refugee’ immigration [from Syria] by 550 percent.”
It was first lady Hillary Clinton who first invited the Muslim Brotherhood into the White House in 1996, entertaining guests from the Islamic Society of North America and CAIR, both front groups for the Brotherhood, to join her in an Iftar dinner celebrating Eid, the end of the Muslim fast at Ramadan. Every president since that time, including George W. Bush, has hosted Iftar dinners for Ramadan at the White House.
The American people rejected this cozy White House relationship with Islam in electing Donald Trump as the next president.
Germany will face the same choice next fall. But until then is stuck with Merkel.
“If she doesn’t suspend her candidacy, she will lose,” Geller predicts. “Clearly, Merkel’s government has lost control of the situation.”
Active Islamic cell likely in Berlin
Steve Emerson, executive director the Investigative Project on Terrorism, said the fact that the Germans think the real perpetrator is on the loose suggests a much higher degree of sophistication and planning went into the Berlin terrorist operation and that it was not a spur-of-the-moment, lone-wolf Islamic terrorist attack.
Lone-wolf attacks typically end with the attacker getting himself killed by police.
“That the perpetrator was able to elude police suggests a larger network was behind this attack and that there may be preplanned safe houses involved,” Emerson told WND. This suggests a cell is active in Berlin.
This attack and the previous ones demonstrate that the chickens are coming home to roost for Merkel, Emerson said. It’s too late for her to merely admit failure and move on unscathed.
“Her open-door immigration policy has become the worst national security threat Germany faces – and in light of the fact that the floodgates to unvetted refuges were opened en masse under her politically correct leadership, [it] has ignited a wave of popular anger among the German population and also has unleashed a wave of bitterness by Germany’s counter terrorist agencies and officials who feel that their arms were tied behind their back when they wanted initially to stop the wave of massive immigration in order to do ‘extreme vetting,'” he said.
“Inside these agencies and among the regional elected officials of certain German counties, there is a deep resentment against Merkel,” he added. “She has not only endangered the German population but all of Europe.”
Clare Lopez, vice president of research and analysis for the Center for Security Policy in Washington, also says the Berlin attack is just the latest salvo in a war that has Europe edging toward chaos. She says this should serve as a sober warning for the U.S. and the new administration of Donald Trump.
“Germany, like other Western European countries that have allowed large numbers of unassimilated, mainly young, male Muslims to overrun them, is now slipping rapidly into a chaotic situation that security services will have a very difficult time controlling,” Lopez told WND.
Lopez said it was, ironically, the German magazine Der Spiegel that in August 2005 published al-Qaida’s seven-phase plan for the conquest of the West by Islam.
“One wonders whether Germany’s leadership ever read the thing,” she said. “For those who have, we’re all in the sixth phase now – the one that is called the phase of ‘total confrontation.'”
“While police and intelligence agencies do their best to stay a step ahead of the hundreds, if not thousands of Muslim terrorists who, no doubt, have infiltrated the hordes of migrants flowing into Europe, the sheer scale of the numbers, the dozens of already-established Shariah no-go zones, the extensive jihadist networks, all indicate that their task will be very difficult indeed,” Lopez added.
The total confrontation strategy looks for soft targets to exploit, especially women, children and families gathered for a symbolic celebration like Christmas.
“We Americans can take some lessons from what’s happening to Western Europe,” Lopez said. “Allowing unassimilated, unsuitable, unvetted migrants entry to liberal, Western democratic lands is folly.”
Lopez said Americans must not agree to surrender any of their rights in return for “protection” from the government. That would be a victory for the Islamists.
“We Americans must guard our constitutional First and Second Amendment rights, because we can see what happens when formerly free people are not protected by the right to free speech and the individual right to bear arms,” she said.
“The ‘total confrontation’ of Islamic jihad is coming to America, too. But with the tragic example of Western Europe before us, we have the chance to take steps to defend ourselves before it is too late.”