Germany is a social powder keg waiting to explode after two terrorist attacks within the past weeks. The first was a lone wolf Islamist Afghan refugee who seriously injured, with an axe and knife, Hong Kong tourists on a train in southern Germany. On Friday 22nd July, a dual nationality Iranian-German teenage gunman called Ali Sonboly deliberately killed children eating at a McDonalds in Munich, Germany before continuing his killing spree in a shopping mall.
There have been contradictory reports on the motives of the gunman, with CNN reporting that a Muslim witness confirmed that he screamed “Allahu Akbar” as he fired his gun in McDonalds. German authorities have downplayed any Islamist connection and have tried to link him to the far-right fanatic Anders Breivik. Whilst there is no doubt that the teenage killer was a deeply disturbed loner with homicidal tendencies, it is likely that he was influenced by the broader currents of radical Islam.
Germany has a highly organised network of far-right activists across the country prepared to commit revenge attacks against migrant centres or mosques. Hans-Georg Maassen, chief of the German security services Bundesamts für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), warned on radio that right-wing radicalization, spurred by the European migrant crisis, may see Germany collapse into a civil war between left-wing and right-wing demonstrators.
Already, demonstrations between hard left and extreme right elements have descended into violence in Berlin and there are regular protests against refugees in the former Eastern Germany. Whether the explosion of violence actually happens this year is another matter, but there is no doubt that the German authorities are very alarmed at the prospect.
On a European level, counterterrorism experts are extremely pessimistic about the risk of a European 9/11, with the continent facing “simultaneous attacks on the same day in several countries, several places”. I have predicted a pan-European jihadi terror attack in my first blog post, with the attack likely to happen in September or October this year. Hopefully I will be proven wrong in this grim prediction, which if accurate, will have profound implications for the future of European politics.