Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Germany

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 30 May 2013
Cite as United States Department of State, Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 - Germany, 30 May 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/51a86e8b18.html [accessed 20 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis 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 in 2012. Germany investigated, arrested, and prosecuted numerous terrorist suspects and disrupted terrorist-related groups within its borders with connections to al-Qa'ida (AQ) and other violent Islamist extremist, Kurdish nationalist, and Nazi terrorist organizations.

2012 Terrorist Incidents: Authorities are investigating a suspected attempted terrorist attack after a bomb was discovered in a gym bag December 10 at the Bonn train station. It apparently did not explode because of poor workmanship.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: In January, the Federal Cabinet decided to create a central database of violent neo-Nazis and those who call for the use of violence. The database became operational in late September. In June, Interior Minister Friedrich banned the Solingen-based violent extremist group Millatu Ibrahim. In November, Germany launched its Joint Terrorism and Defense Center. Modeled after existing centers against violent extremism and right-wing radicalism, the new center addresses politically motivated crime.

Arrests and prosecutions:

  • In February, Arid Uka was sentenced to life in prison for shooting U.S. airmen at Frankfurt Airport in 2011.

  • In February, a Düsseldorf court sentenced Sadi Naci Ö. to six years and Ünalkaplan D. to four years in prison for membership in the Turkish terrorist group Revolutionary People's Freedom Party/Front.

  • In March, the trial against Afghan-born German citizen Ahmad Wali Sidiqi began in Koblenz. German authorities had arrested him at Ramstein airbase upon his release from U.S. custody in April 2011. Sidiqi allegedly received instructions from Sheik Younis to carry out attacks in Europe.

  • In May, a German engineer who was kidnapped in northern Nigeria was killed. Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb had demanded in March that Germany free convicted terrorist supporter Filiz Gelowicz in exchange for the engineer.

  • In May, the trial against an AQ terror cell began in Düsseldorf. The defendants were accused of conspiring to set off explosives in crowded areas.

  • In October, a judge sentenced Murat K. to six years in prison and more than US $12,000 in damages for a knife attack against two police officers during a demonstration.

  • In November, charges were filed against alleged National Socialist Underground (NSU) member Beate Zschäpe and four accomplices. The NSU terror cell is suspected of murdering nine people with immigrant backgrounds for racist/xenophobic reasons and one policewoman between 2000 and 2007.

  • In December, a Berlin court sentenced German national Thomas U. (a.k.a. Hamsa al-Majaari) to four years and three months imprisonment for membership in the German Taliban mujahedin, training to commit terrorist acts, and uploading violent extremist propaganda to the internet.

Countering Terrorist Finance: Germany is a member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), and an observer to the Eurasian Group on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering, and the Financial Action Task Force of South America against Money Laundering, all FATF-style regional bodies. Germany's Financial Intelligence Unit is a member of the Egmont Group. German agencies filed 12,868 suspicious transaction reports in 2011 (2012 figures were not available), designating 194 for suspected terrorist financing. Germany remained a strong advocate of the UNSCR 1267/1989 and 1988 Taliban and AQ sanctions regimes.

In April, Filiz Gelowicz, wife of Fritz Gelowicz – who is serving time for planning attacks against U.S. interests in Germany in 2007 – was released from prison. She had been convicted of financially supporting the German Taliban Mujahedin and the Islamic Jihad Union. In March, a trial began against Ömer C., who is charged with membership in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), and Turgay C., who is charged with providing US $52,000 to the IMU.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, we refer you to the 2013 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 various multilateral counterterrorism initiatives.

Countering Radicalization and Violent Extremism: Germany has numerous programs to counter violent extremism, at the state and federal levels. 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 NGOs and at-risk youths. In Berlin, the Violence Prevention Network runs a training program that serves – both during and after detention – ideologically motivated perpetrators.

In January, the Federal Ministry of the Interior established a radicalization help center for parents and friends of violent Islamist extremists. The Interior Ministry started a promotion campaign that included posting simulated missing person notices for fictitious violent extremists who have cut off contact with their friends and families; the notices feature contact information for the radicalization help center. Four Muslim organizations were offended by the campaign and have discontinued their cooperation with the Interior Ministry's Security Partnership Initiative (SPI), in protest against the Countering Violent Extremism poster project. The Muslim organizations complained that the posters linked Islam to violence. The Interior Ministry plans to continue the SPI.

Germany continued its HATIF (the Arabic word for telephone) program to assist violent Islamist extremists with reintegration. 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 2012, the Interior Ministry also continued a project in three states to counter radicalization of young delinquents influenced by violent extremist ideology.

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