Suspicious Circumstances

According to The Guardian, one of the reasons a German academic has been arrested on terrorism charges is that he had access to a university library.

Academics from around the world have protested to Germany’s federal prosecutor about the arrest and detention of a Berlin sociologist who is accused of associating with a terrorist group – apparently on the basis of his academic work . . .

The federal prosecutor’s office arrested Mr Holm on August 1 under paragraph 129a of the anti-terrorism law, citing the repeated use of words such as “gentrification” and “inequality” in his academic papers, terms similar to those used by the urban activist organisation “militante gruppe” (mg). According to the prosecution report the frequency of the overlap between words used by Mr Holm and the group was “striking, and not to be explained through a coincidence” . . .

The fact that he and another academic had access to a library meant they were “intellectually in a position to compile the sophisticated texts of the ‘militante gruppe’,” the prosecutor’s office said.

More coverage and critique available in the Chron.

Author: Barbara Fister

I'm an academic librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Like all librarians at our small, liberal arts institution I am involved in reference, collection development, and shared management of the library. My area of specialization is instruction, with research interests also in media literacy, popular literacy, publishing, and assessment.

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