Europe reacts to the terror attacks in Berlin

Article published on Dec. 20, 2016
Article published on Dec. 20, 2016

At least 12 people were killed and dozens injured when a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin on Monday night. The police have voiced suspicions that this was a terrorist attack. Commentators react with consternation, and warn that the terrorists must not be allowed to triumph with their strategy.

Free society will win out - Kurier, Austria

Free society will triumph in the end despite repeated terror attacks such as that which allegedly took place on Monday evening in Berlin, Kurier is convinced:

"There are solitary perpetrators dedicated to a murderous ideology; there are Islamist cells like the one in Belgium which plan and carry out targeted attacks, orchestrated from the territory of the 'Islamic State'; and domestic security agents across Europe warn that now that the jihadist organisation is severely weakened in Syria and Iraq some fighters will come home and try to live out their hateful and murderous thoughts in Europe. This is a time of mourning. The mood at the Christmas markets will be subdued in the days to come. The situation has become more dangerous, but it hasn't changed. Vigilance is called for. Neither we nor our politicians must give in to terror, as cynical as that might sound given these new victims. In the knowledge that democracy and our values are a few centuries more advanced than the jihadist insanity." (19/12/2016

Terrorists aiming for chain reaction - Jutarnji List, Croatia

Political calculation lies behind every terrorist act but we must not give in to it, Jutarnji List warns:

"Because of its very nature, terrorism is an act of cowardice. Cold-bloodedly killing unarmed negotiators, journalists or civilians like those in Berlin is an act of moral penury. The goal of yesterday's attack was only to spread fear and insecurity. The idea is retaliation, yes - targeted in Ankara, blind and deranged in Berlin - but also to escalate the conflict and set off a chain reaction. Political repercussions are part of the strategy of terror. The murderous act in Berlin supplies the populist agitators with arguments for blaming Angela Merkel and the democratic government for not being tough enough on potential attackers and terrorists. And then it's all too easy to lump all foreigners and Muslims together. But terrorism must be fought at its roots, in the conflict hotspots." (20/12/2016)

Germany refuses to see the danger - wPolityce, Poland

The very accusations referred to by Jutarnji List are voiced in the Polish nationalist portal wPolityce:

"After the attacks on women on New Year's Eve in Cologne, the attack in Ansbach and the knife attacks in Bavaria, Angela Merkel promised security. Each time the people were reassured that Germany and France - which has been repeatedly hit by terrorist attacks - were finally safe. They were told that the Islamists would do no harm, and that the door should be opened even wider for the refugees. The EU Parliament warned Poland four times that it was supposedly endangering security in Europe. Ultimately, however, it never concerned itself with the security of the Germans or the French... Today we see how big a threat we face. A Christmas market has been stained with innocent blood. Germany, blinded by its love for migrants, is unable to think about the threat, or about how to protect its citizens from such attacks.” (19/12/2016)

IS is lashing out in desperation - La Libre Belgique, Belgium

The truck attack in Berlin is reminiscent of this summer's attack in Nice, La Libre Belgique writes, warning that even if the IS has been weakened it has not lost its bite:

"The movement is in its death throes... Faced with the international armada, the Islamic State is on its last legs, at least militarily. However its ability to cause harm is still very real. In its hopeless situation, it will try to carry out as many murderous attacks as possible. The leaders of this movement are nothing but criminal terrorists. Lawless, immoral people who have nothing to gain from giving themselves in or repenting. Until it is completely decapitated this organisation will remain a danger for the entire world. Because its zealots are active all over the world." (20/12/2016

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