HAMBURG: With Europe under a fresh wave of terror attacks coinciding with an incessant refugee influx from Syria, Germany is looking within for jihadis, rebuffing paranoia that those fleeing the war may be the principal source of concern. Mohd Atta, the perpetrator of 9/11 attacks, is cited to rubbish the fears.
Now legend in the jihadi folklore, Atta and Ramzi were among the three youths from the Hamburg Harburg who went on to author the twin-tower attacks which changed the trajectory of the 21st century.
“If we want to understand the task… It is necessary to know this. They had no reasons, they were middle-class in their countries. They had attended the university in Germany. They were relatively successful. So, they were fully integrated, it is not that they had no chance in the German society. (why they became terrorists) is something extra,” a top government official of Hamburg said.
The blunt, if introspective, words, in the port city-state – hosting Muslims from Turkey, West Asia, Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan – indicate Germany is taking a hard look at what is happening within its borders more than being obsessed with the Syrian refugees.
The comments seek to decouple the conflating discourses on jihadi terrorism and Syrian refugees. By a quirk of time, the coinciding of the twin waves from the Muslim world have resulted in a far-right campaign that has put mainstream traditional politics of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats on the back foot.
It is an explosive narrative which dominates Germany today but indications from the sensitive state suggest that irrespective of the rise of the xenophobic AfD, the refugee issue is being tackled separately from the vigil on terror.
According to a top official, the London underground attacks or the recent Brussels and Paris strikes were carried out by people who had lived in those cities, were part of their social life. The root cause behind the trouble is seen as the “cultural conflict” arising from interaction between modern Europe and natives of migrant background who are unable to shed the baggage of conservative Muslim societies.
“It is not that easy that these are poor people who are angry about their situation and life. In many cases, it is just the people who cannot face the situation with women having the same rights. I think this is half of the reason for the terror attacks,” the official said