Editorial: Has Germany, U.S., Forgotten Past Dealings with Terrorism?

Editorial: Has Germany, U.S., Forgotten Past Dealings with Terrorism?The continuing escalating anger with President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration as demonstrators gathered for the second day at the White House and numerous airports around the country Sunday, concerning people coming from seven Muslim-majority countries and halting the acceptance of refugees, need a lesson in history.

While liberals and socialists complain about the temporary halt to immigration, [never mind that we have two issues at stake which one is national security and the other pertains to immigration laws], my own experience in living under terrorism should be a wake-up call.

Most Americans have never experienced living under the threat of terrorism on a continuous basis and that includes those protesting Trump’s immigration orders. However, my own experience has taught me that being safe than sorry means the survival of the individual(s) as well as the nation.

As a United States Air Force veteran, I was stationed in Germany during the 1980s where terrorism, mostly from Palestinian terrorists, which included the Red Army Faction, the internal radical German terrorist group was always a threat and a concern.

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There was never a day that went by when the threat of a terrorist attack could occur and during my time in Germany, it was not unusual to be stopped by the German military at strategically placed road blocks in looking for suspected or suspicious persons that might launch a terrorist attack anywhere in the nation.

The most notable terrorist attacks while I was in Germany were:

February 1, 1985 in Munich by the Red Army Faction

June, 19, 1985 in Frankfurt; an improvised explosive device that ripped through an international departure lounge of the Frankfurt Airport, killing three people and wounding 42. The dead include a man and two children, and of the many injured, 18 were hospitalized. [I was on a plane a few months later flying from Munich back to the U.S., and with a stop in Frankfurt, German military boarded our plane and checked everything before we could continue to our destination. All the while, German military were patrolling outside the plane and terminal]

August 8, 1985, car bomb at the Rhein-Main Air Force Base committed by the Red Army Faction & Action Directe., where members of the United States Armed Forces are stationed, killing two Americans and wounding about 20 people. The dead were Airman Frank H. Scarton, 19, who was serving with the 437th Military Airlift Wing, and Becky Jo Bristol, the wife of Senior Airman John Bristol, who was with the Medical Airlift Squadron at the base.

April 4, 1986 in Berlin, where improvised explosive device was set off by Libyan terrorists where the bomb was placed on the dance-floor of the La Belle Discotheque, popular with United States military personnel, explodes, killing 3 and injuring hundreds more. Two of the dead were members of the United States military.

July 9, 1986 in Munich, where another improvised explosive device blew up at a business, where physicist Karl-Heinz Beckurts, Director of research and technology at the Siemens electronic company, and a driver are killed by a remote controlled bomb planted in his car in a Munich suburb by the Red Army Faction.

Lest we forget, that on October 7, 1985, four men representing the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) hijacked the Italian MS Achille Lauro liner off the coast of Egypt, as she was sailing from Alexandria to Ashdod, Israel. The hijacking was organized by Muhammad Zaidan, leader of the PLF. One 69-year-old Jewish-American man in a wheelchair, Leon Klinghoffer, was murdered by the hijackers and thrown overboard.

After the Italian MS Achille Lauro incident, a few of us traveled by an Italian transportation ferry from southern Italy to Corfu, Greece. The trip to Corfu was non-eventful but on the way back across the Mediterranean Sea, an individual on the deck, across from where we were sitting, stared at us and made me uncomfortable.

The individual, wearing all black, as hot as it was, with curly black hair, looked just like a Palestinian.

He may have been innocent as no terror attacks occurred on our trip but at the time, having to sit and constantly watch is not a way of life and I dare anyone to say that it is.

Moreover, the Trans World Airlines (TWA) hijackings and murders of innocent people by the Arab Revolutionary Cells and Palestinian terrorists were notorious. The attacks, which seemed to always target TWA, prompted many military members to call TWA, “Terrorist World Airlines”.

At one time, when I was flying back home, a German travel agent did everything possible to find the safest airline for me, but in the end, I had to take TWA as no other airlines were available during the time I was going home for vacation.

However, as it would seem, has Germany forgotten its past? Has the U.S. forgotten the past?

With the lone-wolf Islamic attacks in the past 8 years here in the U.S., it appears the past has been forgotten.

Recently, Germany downplayed the threat of Jihadists posing as migrants.

The German experience with jihadists posing as migrants serves as a case study on errors for other countries to avoid. German authorities allowed hundreds of thousands of migrants, many lacking documentation, to enter Germany without a security check. German authorities admitted they lost track of some 130,000 migrants who entered the country in 2015.

German officials knew as early as March 2015 — some six months before Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to more than a million migrants from the Muslim world — that jihadists were posing as refugees, according to the Munich Report (Report München), an investigative journalism program broadcast by ARD public television on January 17.

More than 400 migrants who entered Germany as asylum seekers in 2015 and 2016 are now being investigated for links to Islamic terrorism, according to the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA).

The revelations come amid criticism of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s plans to suspend immigration from select countries until mechanisms are in place to properly vet migrants entering the United States. The German experience with jihadists posing as migrants serves as a case study on errors for other countries to avoid.

Germany has failed its people concerning national security and decided to criticize, along with France, of Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from nations in the Middle East.

Those U.S. demonstrators have no understanding on what it is like to know that one can be murdered by Islamic terrorists or similar types of groups in an instant with no warning.

A listing of incidents in which American citizens were killed in attacks worldwide carried out by Islamic terrorists can be found here. The exact number of American casualties is difficult to calculate because of incomplete or inaccurate news reports regarding numbers and nationalities of those killed or injured.

Approximately 4,000 Americans have been killed in terrorist attacks since 1970, including the atrocities of September 11, 2001. Since Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Accords in September 1993, at least 54 Americans have been murdered by Palestinian terrorism and that number continues to climb. The list does not include American service-members killed on active duty.

Naturally, not all Muslims are terrorists, but the point of the matter is… who are the peaceful Muslim immigrants and who are not?

Hopefully that won’t be the case under President Trump here in the United States. As I stated above, it’s better to be safe than sorry, meaning once more, the survival of the individual(s) as well as the nation is at stake.

Does anyone want to live day by day by wondering who the good guy is and who is not?

Looking back, as I survived those years in Germany, I don’t think you want to wonder if you will be next and having to worry if tomorrow is your last day as some radical Islamic terrorist takes you and/or your family out of existence.

Think about that.

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Fmr. Sgt, USAF Intelligence, NSA/DOD; Studied Cryptology at Community College of the Air Force

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