It would have been the first attack by the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas in Europe: four men have been in custody in Germany and the Netherlands since Thursday; the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe accuses them of looking for weapons that were ready for possible attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe should be. Does Germany have to expect further attack plans in the future? The extremism expert Dr. Hans-Jakob Schindler from the transatlantic think tank “Counter Extremism Project” has long been warning about possible risks.

Mr. Schindler, how do you assess the risk in Europe posed by Islamist organizations? The mood is heated. We have noticed this again and again at demonstrations in the last few weeks, including radical Islamists in Essen, for example. People there wanted to establish a caliphate in Germany. Those who have now been arrested in the course of the foiled attack are certainly not the only supporters and this was definitely not the only weapons depot that Hamas set up in Europe. As long as Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military operations continue and Hamas structures are not destroyed, this remains a relevant threat. In addition, other terrorist organizations are also involved. For weeks everyone has only been talking about Hamas. This is bad for the Islamic State, ISIS, and its supporters and financiers. They also call on their followers to carry out attacks. In this way, ISIS is trying to get back on the global agenda.

The attack plans were something new: they were supposed to hit targets in Europe, probably including Germany. This would have been Hamas’ first attack outside Israel and the Palestinian territories. Why suddenly in the West?

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