Syrians capture compatriot suspected of terrorism

After two days on tenterhooks and a nationwide manhunt a Syrian man suspected of planning a major bomb attack has been arrested in Leipzig after escaping surveillance on Saturday. On Sunday evening three other Syrians who had taken the man in recognised him as a wanted suspect, tied him up and alerted the police. Commentators see the events as very instructive.

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Die Welt (DE) /

We can't do it without refugees

The three men who handed over the suspect are Germany's first Syrian heroes, Die Welt notes:

“Without doubt Islamic State, with which bomb maker al-Bakr appears to have ties, will want to kill them. Perhaps for this reason we will never be able to celebrate these heroes publicly even though they risked their own lives to protect their host country. … 'But where there is danger/the saving power grows as well', [lyric poet] Friedrich Hölderlin once wrote. It is right that people entering the country as refugees need to be subject to closer scrutiny. It is wrong to treat them all as suspects. No doubt there are a few hundred or perhaps even a thousand terrorists among them. But there are also just as many who can and want to help track down these sleepers. The country needs these potential helpers and heroes too. We can't do it all on our own.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Security has its price

The foiled attack is proof that the police and intelligence services need far-reaching powers to protect the citizens, Neue Zürcher Zeitung stresses:

“The threat terrorists and manipulators pose to the Western way of life and the unease caused by the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees has increased the expectations we have in terms of internal security. … These expectations clash with the reservations we have vis-à-vis these institutions, resulting in a paradoxical situation. Security, as we can see when we look at other regions of the world, has its price. Those who find the storage of phone connection data and, in cases where it is deemed necessary, the surveillance of Internet content or mobile phone connections reprehensible can't expect the intelligence services to prevent the next bombing and guarantee safety in public spaces. The recent successes of the German authorities in this area serve as a warning.”