Impact of Counter-Terrorism on Communities | Germany Institute for Strategic Dialogue | Country Background Report
The police polarise German Muslim opinion, with most holding an absolutely positive or deeply negative view of the police. This is likely due to a disturbed relationship following some high-profile mosquechecks subsequent to terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid. However, a number of measures have been taken to prevent discrimination by policemen, particularly via educational courses. Inrecent years, the Federal Government had to provide opposition parties with information on thesemeasures, since the latter had posed minor and major intercessions concerning discrimination by policeauthorities against Muslims. Not least the intensified cooperation of both police and Muslims with thehelp of the Initiative Security Partnership should have improved the relationship. The security situation which informs these policies is outlined in section four. In 2011 there were 19arrests and 12 convictions related to Islamist terrorism, which meant a peak in the past five years. Thismirrors the increased number of Islamist extremists (38,080 in 2011). Nevertheless, Germany has fallenprey to only one single successful Islamist terrorist attack; in March 2011 Arid Uka, a 20 year old native of Kosovo, killed two US soldiers at Frankfurt Airport. Other bombing plots (e. g. the Sauerland Group) were revealed early as a result of the cooperation of security authorities. Key officials rate the level of threat proceeding from Islamist extremism as constantly high. Muslims, in turn, deem the risk of anIslamist terrorist attack in Germany as low.
The political context is dealt with in section five where it is concluded that all in all, the FederalGovernment proceeds cautiously and adopts measures moderately. The parliamentarian controlmechanism balances the security interests of the government well. Politicians treat Islam like a hot potato,for they know that they may burn their fingers. The general public seems to be divided on Islam. One half does think that it belongs in Germany, the other half does not. Both the wider society and politicianscreate the impression of being a little over-challenged as, for a long time, they have not devoted theattention -to Muslims in particular and immigrants in general- that they actually deserved. It seems thatthe set of problems related to 9/11 has caught German society off its guard. The final section deals briefly with the sparse research in existence with deals with this area. Research onthe impact of counter-terrorism is limited to four points: (1) Overviews, (2) The pure efficacy of CTmeasures, (3) The problem of military operations abroad, and (4) The impact on the principles of constitutional democracy from a juridical perspective.
Population and Community Context
Germany’s population consists of about 82 million people (2010) of which c. 75 million are of Germanand seven million of foreign nationality. In order to paint a clear picture of minorities in Germany, it isimportant to keep in mind that two different definitions circulate in the responsible agencies. This is