Chancellor Merkel: No link between terrorism and refugees
With her Christian Democratic party facing a strong challenge from the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany party in state elections on September 4, Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to tamp down fears that the refugees that have flooded the country have made Germany less safe.
Merkel denies there is a link between increased terror attacks and the new arrivals.
German news agency dpa quotes Merkel as saying that "Islamist terrorism by IS isn't a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees, it's one that we had before too."
Merkel was speaking late Wednesday at a political rally in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where her Christian Democrats face strong competition from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party in state elections on Sept. 4.
The country has been shaken by a string of attacks, two of which were the first in Germany claimed by the Islamic State group. In those, only the attackers - both asylum-seekers - were killed. In an unrelated attack, a German teenager killed nine people in Munich.
French counterterrorism officials have admitted that as many as 600 ISIS fighters have arrived in the recent wave of refugees. Her own government has expressed concerns over ISIS infiltration among the refugees.
But ordinary Germans are feeling a lot less safe these days and Merkel felt it necessary to deny the link between terrorism and the refugees. Technically, she is correct in saying that Islamic extremism existed in Germany before the refugees arrived. But to claim that there is no link between the two is to deny reality - and common sense.