The great magnitude of the threat that already existed became evident with the September 11 attacks. The victory over terror will not come soon. The struggle will last centuries. We should not give the impression that Germany is a terrorist center. Most of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attack were never here. Like other countries, we are part of a dangerous area through which terrorists move. The perpetrators of the attacks who had been among us had legal visas; they were students. However, it is also true that the asylum right is abused: the number of those accepted went from 100,000 in 1989 to 30,000 this year.
International cooperation is essential to fight terrorism and George W. Bush was pleased by the advances made in this direction. I agreed with the then French Interior Minister, Mr. Dominique de Villepin, about th eexchange of information. We jointly organized it with the treaty of Prüm.
Anti-terrorist laws allow us to count on new means of action, but, sadly, we have not agreed on how to transfer the pre-emptive actions in terrorism-related affairs to the federal police. Involving the army in the fight against internal terrorism would be dangerous. It would look like we are already in the middle of a civil war and thus, terrorism would have won half of the war. In addition, the army is not qualified for this mission; so we need to increase the number of police officers. The Bundeswehr (federal army) can act in the event of a catastrophe, no matter if it is a natural disaster or a result of a terrorist attack.

Welt an Sonntag (Germany)

Kampf gegen den Terror dauert noch Jahrzehnte”, by Otto Schily, Welt an Sonntag, September 11, 2005. Text adapted from a crossed interview with Otto Schily.