BERLIN “” After thwarting what might have become a “massive” attack on American installations, German authorities will review ways to fight homegrown terrorists, including a proposal to allow Internet spying on all German converts to Islam.
The search for seven other suspected members of a German cell of the Pakistan-based Islamic Jihad Union continued into Thursday night, with investigators saying only that they knew who they were seeking.
Anti-terror police arrested three men in a village in central Germany Tuesday, outside a vacation cabin where they were suspected of building a bomb. Germans were shocked to learn that two of the alleged bombers were native-born and had common German names, Fritz and Daniel. All three were unemployed and living on German government benefits, but other details are sketchy.
Fritz came from an upper middle class background, and German media reported that he converted to Islam about 10 years ago. His mother was a doctor, his father owned a successful business, and he’s married and attends a technical college in Ulm.
“Daniel”, who like Fritz hasn’t been further identified, was known for angering his neighbors in Saarbruecken by praying loudly every three hours, but little else is know about him or “Adem”, the Turkish-born third suspect.
This was “something new, and not in a good way,” said Col. Christopher Langdon of London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies. They “came from the white German population. They were very traditional German residents who converted and radicalized. These bombers were not Pakistani or Moroccan. That is raising eyebrows.”
It is raising eyebrows among the politically-correct who insist that Islam is a religion of peace and that terrorists develop only within oppressed ethnic minorities. The case of Fritz and Daniel provides compelling evidence that the only irreducible attribute of Islamic terrorists is — you guessed it — ISLAM.
Anti-terror forces had been concerned primarily with first or second generation Muslim immigrants “” not white Europeans.
Guenther Beckstein, the interior minister in the German state of Bavaria and a conservative leader of the southern wing of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Party, has called for a new law authorizing online surveillance of Islamic converts.
Entirely sensible — though one can only imagine the heat he is going to take.
“Germans converting to Islam should be watched because they tend to show particular fanaticism in order to prove worthy of their new religion,” he said Thursday.
The number is growing, according to the German Islam archive. In the last decade, only about 300 Germans each year converted to Islam. But in 2005, the number rose to 1,000, and it jumped to 4,000 in 2006.
4,000 new potential jihadists last year from within the native German population. Not a reassuring thought. The problem is: what is the alternative to Islam for a thirsty European soul? Fervent European agnosticism? Brussels worship? Having thrown God out of their societies, Europeans are now having to confront Allah.