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
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