The heart-warming story of the day involving electric cables


…today comes from Germany, where a Syrian refugee suspected of planning a Brussels Airport-style attack in Berlin has been captured and handed over to the authorities by three other Syrian refugees.

The story started on Saturday, 8 November, when the German police swooped down on an apartment in an eastern city of Chemnitz, where they discovered a kilogram and a half of very dangerous explosives. The suspect, 22-year-old Jaber al-Bakr, however, managed to evade the police. He first came onto their radar days earlier when buying a component that could have been used to make a bomb, possibly in the form of suicide vest.

As we now know, Al-Bakr made his way to Leipzig, where at the train station he posted a request for help on social media used by Syrians in Germany, claiming to have just arrived in Germany and looking for a place to stay. He was picked up from the station by three Syrian refugees, including Mohammed A., who fed him, gave him a haircut, and let his sleep at their apartment.


Seeing al-Bakr’s picture (above) in the media, Mohammed A. and his two flatmates soon realised the real identity of their guest. While al-Bakr slept, they jumped on him and tied him with electrical cables. Al-Bakr tried to offer them $2000 to be released, but as Muhammad A said, “we told him he could give us as much money as he wanted, we wouldn’t free him.” Then the trio contacted the authorities and handed al-Bakr over.

Again, in the words of Mohammed A.:

“I was furious with him, I couldn’t accept something like this — especially here in Germany, the country that opened its doors to us.”

These words echo the sentiments of many in the Syrian-German social media, which was assisting in the manhunt. On Sunday, the administrators of a Facebook page for refugees, German LifeStyle, posted al-Bakr’s pictures and asked its 90,000 followers to be on a lookout:

“We as Syrians need to fight against those among us who want to do harm to the people here who support us and all other people who live here.”

The Islamist terrorism is as much a war with the West as it is a civil war within Islam. As many Muslim leaders always say, most victims of terrorism are Muslims. One could add they are also the big indirect victims, getting all tarred by the actions of the terrorists in their midst. No police force or intelligence agency can know the Muslim community better than the community itself, which means that to score more goals against terrorist we need to all work together.

Migration, like citizenship, is a two-way social contract, where migrants, whether voluntary or forced (like the refugees), receive from their host country a new home and sanctuary as well as opportunities for a better life and a better future that were not available back in the country of origin. In exchange, the host society asks the arrivals to accept the local laws and try to fit in and contribute, and very importantly, to help protect the society from external and internal threats. This might all sound pretty simple and common sense and has been so for all of the human history until the more recent times when a toxic mix of post-colonial guilt, doctrines of multiculturalism, and mass migration has managed to banish the old approach as a piece of racist bigotry. The chickens have been coming home to roost ever since.

Fortunately, Mohammad A. and those behind German LifeStyle (and many others no doubt) understand the reality. And kudos to them. We all want these sorts of stories to become a regular feature rather than an occasional bright spot – that’s the only way we can win.