Over the last several years, as western Europe has been hit by Islamist terrorist attack after Islamist terrorist attack, Germany has largely avoided the violence. But the refugee crisis and the rise of the Islamic State (or ISIS) seem to have broken Germany’s run of good fortune. In the span of one week in July, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker attacked five train passengers with an ax in the Bavarian city of Würzburg; a Syrian asylum seeker exploded a bomb outside a music festival in another Bavarian city, Ansbach, wounding 15; an 18-year-old German of Iranian descent massacred nine people at a shopping mall in Munich; and a 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker used a machete to murder a local woman in Reutlingen who had rejected his advances. The last two attacks had no apparent connection to foreign terrorist groups. But the succession of violent incidents, all linked in some way to the Middle East, has created a sense of siege.
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