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Editorial: Responding to terrorism attacks, here and abroad

FILE+-+In+this+Monday%2C+July+23%2C+2016+file+photo%2C+police+officers+secure+the+area+after+a+bomb+attack+in+Ansbach%2C+Germany.++Four+attacks+in+a+week+%E2%80%94+three+of+them+carried+out+by+asylum+seekers+%E2%80%94+have+left+Germany+on+edge+and+Chancellor+Angela+Merkel%27s+policies+of+welcoming+refugees+under+renewed+criticism.+Anxiety+over+Germany%27s+ability+to+cope+with+last+year%27s+flood+of+more+than+1+million+registered+asylum+seekers+first+surged+following+a+series+of+sexual+assaults+and+robberies+in+Cologne+during+New+Year+celebrations.+%28AP+Photo%2FMatthias+Schrader%2C+File%29
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Editorial: Responding to terrorism attacks, here and abroad

FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2016 file photo, police officers secure the area after a bomb attack in Ansbach, Germany.  Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2016 file photo, police officers secure the area after a bomb attack in Ansbach, Germany. Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

AP

FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2016 file photo, police officers secure the area after a bomb attack in Ansbach, Germany. Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)

AP

AP

FILE - In this Monday, July 23, 2016 file photo, police officers secure the area after a bomb attack in Ansbach, Germany. Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, File)


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Awave of terrorism attacks have left numerous dead and injured in Germany over the course of only a week, raising questions of public paranoia and heightened suspicion over the influx of migrant refugees entering the country. While the death toll has not reached the levels experienced in France and Belgium, the string of public attacks from Würzburg to Munich have done little to quell fear of an imminent terrorist attack that could be directly attributed to the rise in immigration to European countries in response to growing unrest in the Middle East.

Between July 18 and July 24, three refugees and one German-Iranian teenager committed acts of violence, the most recent being a suicide bomb set off outside a music festival in Ansbach that resulted in the death of a 27-year-old Syrian refugee while wounding 15 others. While terrorist allegiances have not been found to be the sole motivation for all four of the incidents, the correlation drawn in the wake of heavily publicized terrorist attacks in other Western European countries brings to the forefront the unfortunate realities of the migrant crisis in Europe.

Balance must be struck between the desire to do the right thing from a humanitarian vantage point while also being sure to implement necessary accommodations to infrastructure and national security. In a post-Brexit world on the brink of pervasive isolationism and pockmarked by increased apprehension toward immigrants and refugees, it will become more important than ever for countries affected by drastic changes in population demographics and corresponding social upheaval to take the necessary action to both prevent instances of domestic terrorism without falling into a cycle of xenophobia and mistrust.

As important as it is to advocate for the rights of those arriving in foreign countries with a genuine need for asylum and desire to contribute to society, it has also become impossible to ignore that some do not have such admirable intentions. However, the danger lies in blaming an entire immigration population for the crimes of a few misguided individuals. The solution is not to give in to prejudice influenced thinking out of fear and inadvertently further discriminate against those truly in need of aid and asylum.

The large-scale bureaucratic processes necessary to manage the number of immigrants and refugees entering and leaving Germany is riddled with loopholes and blind spots, which is to be expected given the sheer volume of people that need to be accounted for. It is in this precarity that errors are made and threats to the general public become possible. The problem is not immigration but rather the current incarnations of the systems in place meant to manage immigration.

A greater threat than the immediate implications of a terrorist attack, or attack believed to have been influenced by radical ideology, whether it be true or not, is the formation of a cycle perpetuated by efforts to eradicate the root cause of terrorism. A crackdown by the government and public institutions carries the potential to increase feelings of marginalization and isolation that creates the ideal climate for radicalization.

When dealing with the issue of terrorism, the goal is not to worsen the problem by way of increased effort to solve the problem. This is a notion that will become all the more important for Germany as the line between protecting the general population can come at the cost of alienating the newest additions to the country’s population.

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