And it is no wonder Germans are taking such a gloomy view of their justice system. This latest group of Islamist killers to appear before a German court received what many regard as ‘soft’ sentences, ranging from only four and half to nine years, for planning homicidal acts of terrorism that were aborted only by their arrests. In this case, the ‘Dusseldorf cell’, as the German media dubbed them, intended to massacre as many Germans as possible with ‘splitterbomben’ (anti-personnel bombs) in carefully prepared attacks.
The sentences handed out last week for plotting such horrific and deliberate acts of slaughter, as well as the perceived kid-glove treatment of other Islamist and non-Islamist violent criminals by German courts in general, have earned the German justice system the nickname ‘Kuscheljustiz’ (‘cuddly justice’) among more law-abiding Germans.
“This verdict is shameful and a punch in the face for all those who have been killed by such types,” wrote one upset reader in a German newspaper. “Here, there can and should be only one sentence: imprisonment and isolation forever.”
“Not bad for planned mass murder of infidels,” sarcastically wrote another of the light sentences, while a third writer commented that “tax evasion is punished more severely” in Germany.
The leader of the terrorist cell, 33-year-old Abdeladim El-Kebir, received the longest sentence of nine years, despite having been described as the “highest-ranking al Qaeda terrorist (to appear) before a German court until now.” In 2010, El-Kebir, a native of Morocco who has German citizenship, travelled to an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan where he received his terrorist education and had “direct contact” with al-Qaeda leaders. After his return to Germany, he wrote in one of his emails to the al-Qaeda leadership: “Oh, our sheikh, we shall keep our promise. We shall start the slaughtering of the dogs.”
And Germans are not expected to be angry about El-Kebir’s kuschel sentence after reading this?
The planned terrorist attack in Germany appears to have had the approval of Osama bin Laden himself, indicating its importance. The German newspaper, Die Welt, reports that among the documents US Navy Seals seized during the raid on the bin Laden compound in 2011 that resulted in the al Qaeda leader’s much unlamented death was an unfinished note, hand-written by bin Laden himself, which, purportedly, contained El-Kebir’s name.
“The USA supplied an English translation of the Arabic letter to several European intelligence services, among them also Belgian intelligence,” Die Welt reported. “The possible reason for this is that bin Laden speaks of several terror cells in the letter and mentions other terrorist suspects by name.”
El-Kebir was taken into custody just five days before the raid on bin Laden’s compound. But it was warnings in the fall of 2010 about possible terrorist attacks that first put German intelligence, assisted by the CIA and Moroccan security agencies, on his trail. Three of the four terrorists, including El-Kebir, lived together near the University of Dusseldorf, where authorities kept them under 24-hour observation for more than a year.
“When the activities in the apartment and the purchases made by the men indicated the building of a bomb, the three were arrested…,” reported Die Welt.
The fourth man, who was responsible for the cell’s financing and logistics, resided in Bochum, another Rhineland city near Dusseldorf. In doing his part to carry out the murder plot, he committed internet fraud with ebay accounts to raise money, rented several apartments, and obtained false identity papers, reportedly from Morocco. Strangely, he was not considered a member of the cell and received the lightest sentence of four years and a half years despite El Kebir having once emailed him: “Brother, let us carry through the work to the end.”
Like El Kebir, the three other convicted Islamist terrorists are German citizens of Muslim immigrant background.
German anger about the sentences is compounded by the fact that El-Kebir will most likely remain in prison only for six years, since he is eligible for a sentence reduction of about a third for ‘good behaviour’.
But besides anger, there also exists a feeling of anxiety among Germans about the case. With good reason, some believe that after serving their short sentences, the four terrorists will simply take up where they left off in regard to trying to kill as many Bundesrepublik citizens as possible. After all, they will have plenty of time in prison to plan new strikes. America experienced a similar situation with some Guantanamo prisoners who returned immediately to terrorism upon their release. And such Islamist fanatics often leave prison angrier and more determined to kill infidels than before they went in.
In this particular case, it was reported none of the Dusseldorf cell members expressed any remorse for their homicidal actions. In fact, they remained silent during their two-year trial that saw 22 experts, including an FBI official, and 145 witnesses testify. No regrets and no admissions.
“In cases such as this one, our ideal of re-socialization is simply out of place,” commented one German observer.
And since it is all but impossible to integrate these Islamist criminals into German society and in order to protect themselves from possible future attacks, a growing number Germans are calling for two things. The first is that the Dusseldorf cell terrorists, and other convicted Islamists like them, be kept in isolation when in prison. This would help prevent them from both laying future plans for mass murder and from radicalising and recruiting other prisoners to help carry them out.
Such a move is not unprecedented in Germany. The Baader-Meinhof and other left-wing terrorists were isolated for similar reasons when imprisoned during their heyday in the 1970s. And while deadly, Germany’s leftist killers did not pose anywhere near as grave a threat to German lives and society as the Islamists do today.
The second measure concerned Germans want to see adopted is the immediate deportation of the four back to their countries of origin upon their release. Such a move would include stripping them of their German citizenship, a privilege they have more than abused. Only with permanent removal from their country would Germans know that they are safe from any further homicidal plots by these particular criminals.
But besides security reasons, some maintain that deporting the Dusseldorf cell is the only measure that would remove somewhat the sting of the ‘soft’ sentences. As well, there are financial benefits for the German taxpayer in short sentences combined with deportation. Besides avoiding the obvious expense associated with longer prison terms, the Dusseldorf cell’s removal would save the taxpayer the costs of police observation upon their release, the social welfare benefits they will most likely receive, and the financial burden of any possible future trial and second prison term.
Unfortunately, sensible Germans are under no illusion that their government, tied down by the fallacies of multi-culturalism and political correctness, will act soon upon such urgent, possibly life-saving measures. Instead, they expect to see Islamist criminals, like those in the Dusseldorf cell, continue merrily on their way upon release from prison, happily plotting the murder of innocent people and the destruction of German society while their “cuddly” justice system hands out sentences that do not protect them from, let alone deter, Islamic terrorism, but rather serve to encourage it.
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