Merkel says Islamic State threat in Germany predates refugee influx

Chancellor Angela Merkel dismissed suggestions that the arrival of 1.1 million migrants in Germany last year has brought Islamic State terrorism to the country.

"Terrorism by Islamic State is not a phenomenon that arrived with the refugees, it is one that was there before," Merkel said late Wednesday at a campaign event in the eastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which is holding a state election on September 4.

Germany has been on high alert since two terrorist attacks last month - an axe-and-knife attack on a commuter train and a suicide bombing outside a music festival - were claimed by Islamic State. Both were carried out by asylum seekers.

The right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party and critics in Merkel's own conservative political bloc argue that her policy of open borders has created a national security problem in the country.

In Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the AfD is polling at around 18 per cent while Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) are at 23 per cent.

Last update: Thu, 18/08/2016 - 10:14
Author: 

More from Europe

Norway: No suspects linked to stolen gate from former Nazi camp

Norwegian police said Saturday they had no suspects linked to the find of a gate believed to have been stolen in...

Scottish village gets 384,000-pound gift from former German POW

A village in Scotland has received a gift of 384,000 pounds (489,000 dollars) from a German soldier who was held...

German police record 877 attacks against refugee homes this year

There have been 877 attacks against refugee homes in Germany so far in 2016, police said Saturday, suggesting that...

Christmas tree thieves in Germany drunkenly stumble into police

Two drunk Christmas tree thieves in the south-western German city of Ulm were caught red-handed when they were...

Two migrants die in Austria while hiding in freight train

Two migrants have died in Austria while hiding in a goods train, police said on Saturday.