Analysis: German Lesson: Islamist Enclaves Breed Jihadism

investigators have named a Tunisian refugee, Anis Amri, as the jihadist whom they suspect carried out Tuesday’s mass-murder attack. Amri is believed to be the man who drove a truck through a Christmas festival in Berlin, killing twelve and wounding four dozen others in an atrocity reminiscent of the attack in July, when 86 people were killed at a Bastille Day celebration in Nice. Notwithstanding that they arrested and held the wrong man for several hours, it turns out that German authorities have been well aware that Amri posed a danger. He is yet another of what my friend the terrorism analyst Patrick Poole has dubbed “known wolves” — Islamic terrorists who were already spotlighted by counterterrorism investigators as likely to strike. Amri, who is variously reported to be 23 or 24, arrived in Germany in July 2015 as an asylum-seeker. He was able to remain because of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s suicidal open-door policy for refugees from the Muslim Middle East and North Africa. Prosecutors in Berlin attempted to deport Amri back in June, after learning three months earlier that he was planning “a serious act of violent subversion.” He is reportedly a follower of Abu Walaa, an Iraqi sharia-supremacist firebrand who was recently arrested on suspicion of being a top ISIS leader and recruiter in Germany. His terrorist activities aside, Amri has also been involved in narcotics trafficking, theft, and the torching of a school. That last felony occurred in Italy, where the “refugee” was sentenced to five years in prison before being welcomed into Deutschland. All that baggage, and still the Germans allowed him to remain. Reportedly, officials felt they could not deport him because he did not have a passport and the Tunisian government would not acknowledge him (despite the fact that the Tunisian government had convicted him in absentia of a violent robbery). That might explain a brief delay in repatriating him; it does not explain a legal system that permits a suspect with a lengthy, violent criminal record to remain at liberty while he is suspected of plotting mass-murder attacks. Tuesday’s atrocity highlights an aspect of the refugee crisis to which I have been trying to draw attention for over a year: The main threat posed by the West’s mass acceptance of immigrant populations from sharia cultures is not that some percentage of the migrants will be trained terrorists. It is that a much larger percentage of these populations is stubbornly resistant to assimilation. They are thus fortifying sharia enclaves throughout Europe. That is what fuels the jihad. It would be foolish to think it couldn’t happen here, too. To be sure, the infiltration of trained terrorists is a huge problem; even a small percentage would compute to thousands of jihadists within the swarms of migrants. Alas, that is a secondary concern. The bigger threat is the enclaves. These are not merely parallel societies in which the law and mores of the host countries are supplanted by Islamic law and Islamist mores. Even residents who are not jihadists tend to be jihadist sympathizers — or, at least, to be intimidated into keeping any objections to themselves. That turns these neighborhoods into safe havens for jihadist recruitment, training, fund-raising, and harboring. They enable the jihadists to plan attacks against the host country and then elude the authorities after the attacks. In short, the jihad succeeds not just because of the jihadists, but primarily because of the swelling, assimilation-resistant communities. They are the incubators. Recall the horrific November 2015 Paris attacks, in which 130 were killed. The atrocities spurred what was said to be a tireless transcontinental manhunt. When Salah Abdeslam, one of the main culprits, evaded capture for four months, it was assumed that he must have made his way to Syria, rejoining his ISIS confederates. But in mid March, he was captured in Belgium, just a few paces from his family home in Brussels’s Molenbeek district. He had been moving with relative ease from safe-house to safe-house.

Attorney Andrew McCarthy is responsible for that outstanding analytical piece..

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