February 17, 2018: Racist terrorist stabs migrants in Germany

On February 17, 2018 a 70-year old German man stabbed three migrants to protest the German government’s refugee policy.

HEILBRONN, GERMANY – Hate is not terrorism and terrorism is not hate, but the two evils do overlap sometimes.

I find that a lot of people get hate crimes and terrorism mixed up. Don’t get me wrong – there are times when the two definitely are one and the same. When ISIS beheaded people or killed Yazidi men only to rape their women they most assuredly did this out of a deep hatred for…well, for just about everything and everyone who was not like them (which is 99.9999% of all of us!).

Except that most hate crimes do not have an underlying ideology which this makes them NOT terrorist in nature. And in some jurisdictions – like Canada – the two crimes are treated in different parts of the criminal code. So no, they are not the same thing.

President Bush HATED broccoli: does that make him a terrorist? (Photo: By Unknown author – (archive), Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Take this incident.

On this day in 2018

A 70-year old German man attacked and wounded three migrants with a knife because he was angry about the German government’s refugee policy. A 17-year-old Afghan was seriously wounded in the attack near a church in the city of Heilbronn by the pensioner, who ‘wanted to send a message’.

I am deeply troubled by this revolting crime and my thoughts are with the victims. I call on people to treat refugees with humanity and be prepared to help them.

Mayor of Heilbronn Harry Mergel

Gee, if he wanted to ‘send a message’ could he not have emailed or texted or even phoned? Did he have to stab three people?

So, hate crime or terrorism? Without having all the info at hand I’d go with the former.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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