Germans have unsettling fear that country is not prepared for security and integration challenges, writes Atika Shubert
"Angst," the Germany word for fear, is now commonly heard during conversations in local beer gardens, she says
They appear to be unrelated for now. But three of the attackers were recently arrived refugees. One was a German-Iranian dual citizen. And all were young men between the ages of 18 and 27.
Bavaria’s Interior Minister, Joachim Herrman, was visibly shaken early Tuesday morning, hours after a Syrian refugee blew himself with a backpack explosive.
“I have been Interior Minister in Bavaria for nearly nine years,” he told the press. “And I have never experienced anything like this until now.”
Germany is on edge. “Wilkommenskultur” – the buzzword that welcomed more than a million refugees into the country last year – has given way to an unsettling fear that the country is not prepared for the security and integration challenges of taking in a diverse, often traumatized population that comes with their own emotional baggage.
Police are still piecing together how and why Mohammad Daleel, a 27-year old Syrian refugee living in Ansbach, decided to pack a bag of explosives, screws and bolts and detonate it outside a crowded music festival.
On his phone, police found a video of a masked man they believe to be Daleel swearing allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, threatening to carry out attacks on Germans.
Investigators say Daleel had also received psychiatric treatment for attempting suicide twice. Two weeks ago, Daleel received a notice that he was due to be deported to Bulgaria, his first point of entry into the EU.
But Daleel’s refugee neighbors never saw any signs of extremism, or even depression. Outside the Hotel Christl, a rundown hotel converted into shared refugee accommodation, Mahmood Mubariz, a refugee from Pakistan, told me that he had seen a smiling Daleel only a week ago waving from his balcony.