German Officials Arrest Possible Terrorist – Blog Post #6

“Police officers examined an apartment on Monday in Leipzig, Germany. The police said they arrested Jaber al-Bakr, 22, in the city, roughly an hour nothy of Chemnitz, where he had been living.”  Credit: Hendrik Schmidt/European

German officials have arrested a man suspected of possible “Islamic-motivated” bombings early Monday morning after months of surveillance by  German authorities. Jaber al-Bakr, 22, was found to be in possession of three pounds of explosive materials after officials raided his apartment. In addition to the explosives, authorities also uncovered the same explosive material that was used in the terrorist attack on Paris and Islamic state militants in Brussels.

Surprisingly, Bakr was apprehended by other Syrians living in the apartment complex after seeing a photo of him circulating through the news. The Syrians tied Bakr up and took a photo of him with their cell phones. After, showing the photo to police, the Syrians urged officers to arrest him immediately.

Saxony, the state in which Bakr was arrested, is also home to an anti-immigrant movement knows as Pegida (Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West ) which has been the setting for numerous violent and aggressive immigrant attacks.  

New York Times Article Link:

Thomas Hobbes, a 1600’s English philosopher, was widely known for his philosophy regarding the social contract theory. Hobbes’ believed that humans are inherently evil, and that in order for a society to maintain order and remain moral, their inhabitants must follow basic rules. Hobbes shared the idea that in order for a society to have security, they must sacrifice a small portion of individual liberty. His opinion on human behavior was that of selfishness instead of rationality (like Locke).

Hobbes’ argument raised a few interesting points, more specifically when talking about current events such as the one mentioned in this blog. With terrorist attacks/threats from ISIS and the war in Syria, human beings are doing a pretty poor job at acting rationally. With selfish intentions in mind, bombs are being dropped on innocent people and thousands of lives are continuing to be lost. Officials (following the proper laws and rules of their country) have arrested a man attempting to attack the people of Germany.

What if these laws were never in place? Would these attacks cease to exist? Or would people, like Bakr, continue their reigns of terror? Does Hobbes prove the point that humans are acting selfishly and that without rules they would return to their destructive states of nature? Or do people, like the Syrians who apprehended Bakr , represent Locks’s idea that humans are in fact rational, and able to govern themselves? What do you all think?


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