Europe

Merkel dismisses link between Islamic extremism, refugees

  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel , right,  and German Economics Minister Sigmar  Gabriel arrive at  the Chancellery  for a cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany,  Wednesday  Aug. 17,  2016.  (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel , right, and German Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel arrive at the Chancellery for a cabinet meeting in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday Aug. 17, 2016. (Kay Nietfeld/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Aug. 17, 2016 picture Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks  next to Lorenz Caffier, left, leading candidate  of Merkel's Christian Democrats for the  regional  elections, scheduled for Sept. 4  in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania during an election campaign  in Neustrelitz, Germany.   Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed suggestions that the influx of refugees over the past year has brought Islamic extremism to Germany. German news agency dpa quotes Merkel as saying that "Islamist terrorism by IS isn't a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees, it's one that we had before too." (Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP)

    In this Aug. 17, 2016 picture Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks next to Lorenz Caffier, left, leading candidate of Merkel's Christian Democrats for the regional elections, scheduled for Sept. 4 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania during an election campaign in Neustrelitz, Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed suggestions that the influx of refugees over the past year has brought Islamic extremism to Germany. German news agency dpa quotes Merkel as saying that "Islamist terrorism by IS isn't a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees, it's one that we had before too." (Bernd Wuestneck/dpa via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed suggestions that the influx of refugees over the past year has brought Islamic extremism to Germany.

German news agency dpa quotes Merkel as saying that "Islamist terrorism by IS isn't a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees, it's one that we had before too."

Merkel was speaking late Wednesday at a political rally in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, where her Christian Democrats face strong competition from the nationalist Alternative for Germany party in state elections on Sept. 4.

The country has been shaken by a string of attacks, two of which were the first in Germany claimed by the Islamic State group. In those, only the attackers — both asylum-seekers — were killed. In an unrelated attack, a German teenager killed nine people in Munich.