Which nation breeds the most terrorists?

"Bombs breed new terror"

"Bombs breed new terror"


BERLIN. In December 2014, the former CDU member of the Bundestag and journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer went on a dangerous mission: Together with his son Frédéric, he traveled to the IS territory in Mosul, Iraq, to ​​research his book “Inside IS - 10 Days in the Islamic State”. About the IS supporters he met there, the 75-year-old says: “They are deluded, sometimes brainwashed young people who believe they are part of a world-historical battle of good against evil. Most of them are fanatical and enthusiastic about the radicalism of the IS. "

Pegida plays IS into the cards

The attacks in Brussels this week and Paris in November last year were the result of a strategy adopted by IS about a year and a half ago. “IS wants to use terrorist attacks to divide and destabilize Western societies and to incite non-Muslims and Muslims against each other. A society in the West that is drifting apart, according to the IS strategy, should make it easier for IS to conquer the West at a later stage, "said Todenhöfer in an interview with our newspaper. The rise of Islamophobic movements such as Pegida in Germany or the rise of right-wing to right-wing extremist parties - including the Alternative for Germany (AfD) or the Front National in France - were favorably registered by the rulers of the “Islamic State”.

Goal: to deepen the trench

The aim is to deepen the gap between those who oppose Islam and those who are in favor of Islam. "An IS fighter told me personally: If right-wing extremists retaliate against moderate Muslims because of terrorist attacks, and there is general unrest and division tendencies in society, the goal of destabilization has been achieved."

Until the end of 2014, the IS focused primarily on the control and conquest of areas in Syria and Iraq. Smaller acts of terrorism were planned in the West, as IS people told Todenhöfer. The change in approach took place after more and more Western states joined the combat mission against IS.

For Todenhöfer, IS is above all a product of the West - created by the Iraq war in 2003. The IS justifies its campaign, among other things, with the illegal intervention of the USA and its allies in Iraq and the decades-long interference by the West in the Middle East.

The terrorists are primarily targeting the former colonial powers Great Britain, France and the USA, but also Belgium. Germany, which had stayed out of the Iraq war, is a little less at risk, and Switzerland is not a priority target for terrorists.

Todenhöfer contradicts the assessment expressed by most of the experts, according to which the IS has lost combat strength. "ISIS is currently at least as strong as it was at the height of its power in August 2014." Todenhöfer speaks of around 30,000 IS fighters in Syria and 20,000 in Iraq. In addition, the «Islamic State» is spreading rapidly in Libya. IS supporters are now also active in Afghanistan and even in the Gaza Strip.

Course correction required

Todenhöfer calls on the international alliance to urgently correct course in the fight against IS. The bombing war against terrorism that began in Afghanistan in 2001 has evidently failed. "We are breeding new terror with our bombs." Todenhöfer points out that in 2001 the number of dangerous terrorists was a few hundred. "Fifteen years later, there are almost a hundred thousand."

The bombs would cost the lives of thousands of civilians, and the images of killed children and women would be transported through the Muslim world. "That way we don't get the IS down - on the contrary: with every civilian casualty, new fighters join the IS."

Include Salafists

In European cities with a strong Muslim scene, Todenhöfer sees only one possibility in action against violent extremists: Talks should also be held with Salafists. There are around 10,000 Salafists in Germany, around a quarter of whom are considered to be violent, around 400 to 500 completely blinded to the ideology of IS. “But that also means that three quarters of Salafists reject violence. We have to talk to these people because they have the greatest opportunity to influence the violent Salafists, ”says Todenhöfer.

The book author rules out a return to the caliphate. After the publication of his book, the «Islamic State» broke off contact with him. "They will never let me enter their area again."