Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Germany
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||31 July 2012|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2011 - Germany, 31 July 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/501fbcb7b.html [accessed 20 June 2013]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Overview: The threat from violent extremism remained elevated and terrorist groups continued to target Germany in 2011. Authorities estimated that roughly 250 individuals, both German nationals and permanent residents, underwent paramilitary training since the early 1990s at terrorist training camps primarily located in the border regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Approximately 135 of these individuals have returned to Germany; 10 were in custody at year's end. Germany investigated, arrested, and prosecuted numerous terrorist suspects and disrupted terrorist-related groups within its borders with connections to al-Qa'ida (AQ), other radical Islamist, Kurdish nationalist, and Nazi terrorist organizations. Authorities conducted approximately 380 active investigations against 410 terrorists. Of these investigations, 95 were South Central Asia-related. Throughout the year, a number of German terrorist suspects released propaganda videos.
2011 Terrorist Incidents: On March 2, Arid Uka opened fire on U.S. airmen at Frankfurt Airport, killing two and wounding two others. On August 31, Uka's trial began in Germany. (In June, U.S. prosecutors of the Southern District of New York filed a complaint against Uka.)
Legislation and Law Enforcement: In December, Parliament approved legislation to establish a Visa Warning Database (VWD). The legislation allows the Federal Administrative Office to cross-check the VWD with the Anti-Terror Database. On June 29, Germany renewed its expiring post-9/11 counterterrorism laws for four more years. Federal intelligence agencies increased access to suspects' data in return for expanded parliamentary monitoring.
Arrests and prosecutions:
In the months of April and December, German police arrested a total of five alleged AQ members and confiscated bomb-making materials.
On May 9, courts found German citizen Rami Makanesi guilty of membership in AQ and sentenced him to four years and nine months' imprisonment. Makanesi had made a full confession.
On June 10, authorities granted parole to Red Army Faction member Birgit Hogefeld. German courts convicted Hogefeld in 1996 for the murder of a U.S. soldier and her role in the following bomb attack on the Rhein-Main U.S. air base in 1985. She served 15 years of her life sentence.
On June 27, the Federal Administrative Court granted the International Humanitarian Relief Organization a temporary injunction that enabled it to continue operations until the issuance of a final verdict on its July 2010 ban. The organization was banned for funneling money to Hamas.
On November 2, prosecutors indicted German-Afghan citizen Ahmad Wali Sidiqi, who is suspected of being a member of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, of training and participating in combat in the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region.
In November and December, police arrested five persons on charges related to the terrorist organization National Socialist Underground, which is considered responsible for ten murders from 2000 to 2007.
Also in November and December, German courts sentenced eight members of the Global Islamic Media Front for spreading propaganda for AQ, al-Qa'ida in Iraq, and Ansar al Islam.
Countering Terrorist Finance: Germany is a member of the Financial Action Task Force and its Financial Intelligence Unit is a member of the Egmont Group. German agencies filed 11,042 suspicious transaction reports in 2010 (2011 figures were not available), designating 124 for suspected terrorist financing. Germany remained a strong advocate of the United Nations Security Council Resolutions' 1267/1989 and 1988 Taliban and AQ sanctions regimes.
On April 6, courts sentenced German citizen Fatih K. to 22 months imprisonment for supporting the German Taliban Mujahedin with money transfers. Fatih's confession and disassociation from extremist ideas mitigated the sentence. On March 9, courts sentenced Filiz Gelowicz, the wife of Sauerland Group terrorist Fritz Gelowicz, to two and a half years in prison for producing internet propaganda for the German Taliban Mujahedin and the Islamic Jihad Union and transferring the equivalent of U.S. $4,300 to terrorist contacts in Turkey.
For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2011 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes: http://www.state.gov/j/inl/rls/nrcrpt/index.htm.
Regional and International Cooperation: Germany is a founding member of the Global Counterterrorism Forum and continued to participate in multilateral counterterrorism initiatives.
Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Germany has numerous programs to counter violent extremism (CVE), mainly at the state level. In North-Rhine Westphalia alone, there is the "Ibrahim Meets Abraham" community relations initiative; the Information and Education Center against Right-Wing Extremism; the former National-Socialistic Center Vogelsang, which is now used for cultural and civic education; the "No Racism in Schools" and "Prevention of Extremism in Sports" efforts; as well as city programs. Dortmund has a "Prevention of Extremism in the City of Dortmund" program. The German Soccer Federation awards a prize to organizations and persons who use their positions to work for freedom, tolerance, and humanity and against intolerance, racism, and hatred. Other cities, such as Cologne, host street soccer tournaments to bring together non-governmental organizations and at-risk youth.
The Ministry of Interior launched a security partnership between Muslims in Germany and security authorities to increase awareness of radicalization of young people. In January, the state of Berlin issued a pamphlet countering extremist interpretations of Islam and democracy, with text in German, Turkish, and Arabic.
Despite a reported lack of participants, Germany extended its HATIF (the Arab term for telephone) program to assist Muslim violent extremists in reintegrating. The Interior Ministry also continued a project first launched in 2001 to stop radicalization among young right-wing offenders. The Ministry expanded the program in 2007 to function in eight states. In 2011, the Interior Ministry also continued a project in three states to counter radicalization of young delinquents influenced by violent extremist ideology.