Attacks by refugees ‘bitter & repulsive,’ Islamic terrorism ‘most serious test’ for Germany – Merkel

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted there is “no doubt” the recent spate of terrorist attacks that hit the country was the most challenging test it had to undergo this year. Refugee attackers “mocked” the readiness to help those in need, she added in her New Year’s address.

“The most serious test is undoubtedly Islamic terrorism, which has been targeting Germans for many years. In 2016, it attacked us in the middle of our country,” Merkel said, referring to Islamic State (IS, ISIS/ISIL)-linked attacks in Wurzburg and Ansbach in July and to the recent attack on a Christmas market by Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri in Berlin.

The attack on a wine bar in the Bavarian city of Ansbach, which left 15 people wounded, was perpetrated by a Syrian refugee, who, like Amri, pledged allegiance to ISIS. In Wurzburg, a knife-wielding asylum seeker from Pakistan went on a rampage on a train, wounding five on July 18, in an attack also claimed by Islamic State.

The fact that these atrocities were committed by the people who were supposed to be seeking Germany’s protection is a huge blow not only to the nation’s ideals but also for asylum seekers and refugees who genuinely want to live in peace, Merkel said.

“It is particularly bitter and repulsive when terrorist attacks are committed by people who are supposed to seek shelter in our country. Who, exactly for this reason, have experienced our country’s willingness to help and now mock this [willingness] with their deeds,” Merkel said.

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