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.