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Germany to tighten mosque security after racist attack

Interior minister says police will take additional measures for mosques, migrant institutions after Hanau terror attack

Ayhan Simsek   | 21.02.2020
Germany to tighten mosque security after racist attack

BERLIN

Germany will step up security around mosques and migrant organizations following a racist terror attack in Hanau, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Friday.

"What happened in Hanau was clearly a racism-motivated terror attack," Seehofer told a news conference in Berlin, adding that far-right extremism has become a very serious threat to democracy in Germany.

He said police presence will be beefed up across the country ahead of major public events, and authorities will take additional security measures to protect mosques and migrant organizations from the growing threat posed by the far-right.

A 43-year-old far-right extremist attacked two shisha cafes on Wednesday night in the western town of Hanau, killing nine people with migrant backgrounds and wounding six others.

Five Turkish nationals lost their lives in the attack, according to Turkish authorities.

The perpetrator, identified by the authorities as Tobias R., posted a manifesto on the internet detailing his racist views and plans for ethnic cleansing.

German police said on Friday that among the victims were three German citizens and two Turkish nationals. One Bosnian, one Bulgarian, and one Romanian also lost their lives in the attack, as did a dual German-Afghan national, they said.  

It was the third major terrorist attack committed by a far-right extremist in Germany in the last several several months.

Last week, police dismantled a far-right terror cell and arrested 12 suspects over plans to attack six mosques to provoke a civil-war-like situation in the country.

Germany has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of neo-Nazi groups and the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.

Turkey has criticized Germany and other European countries for failing to seriously tackle the growing threat of Islamophobia and racism.

A country of over 80 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin.

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