Interior Minister Boston Points to 'Dangerous Phenomenon'
Part 2: Some Germans Have Joined Rebels in Syria
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Federal Constitutional Court President Andreas Vosskuhle has urged more prudence when it comes to video surveillance. You have attacked him for this. Is it time for an apology?
Friedrich: I have not personally attacked anyone, but have made an appeal that anyone who wants to be involved in making federal policies should run for the Bundestag.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Changing the subject, last year you posed for photos with the rapper Bushido, who has since made headlines for his connections to organized crime.
Friedrich: The singer was introduced to me at a party last summer as the winner of an integration prize, and we were photographed together. Later, I was made aware of his website, which denied Israel's right to exist, and already then I called on him to take responsibility for it. Especially a singer with a large following among young people should not do something like that.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Have you since been embarrassed by the photo?
Friedrich: There won't be any further photos of me with Bushido.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Currently, the tax scandal surrounding Uli Hoeness is dominating public discussion. What cue can be taken from a case like that?
Friedrich: Uli Hoeness has done a lot for German soccer, for many small clubs, for young people and people in need, and still deserves credit for that. But he must answer for the mistakes made in relation to the tax evasion.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Chancellor Merkel has communicated that she is disappointed with Hoeness.
Friedrich: Uli Hoeness is someone who, because he is straightforward, open and sometimes has made provocative statements, has been very popular with the public. It is too bad that we now have to see another side to him.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: Do such cases, which generate a lot of publicity, help further the discussion of tax evasion?
Friedrich: I welcome everything that helps encourage people to pay their taxes.
SPIEGEL ONLINE: A last question on the topic of Syria. Intelligence agencies around the world have been warning that the conflict will become a magnet for foreign jihadists. Are there German fighters in Syria?
Friedrich: We know that jihadists from Germany, whom we were already watching here, are spending time in Syria and fighting on the side of the rebels. We also know of calls for those Europeans who have been trained in battle to return home and pursue jihad. We are following this development with great concern.
- Part 1: Boston Points to 'Dangerous Phenomenon'
- Part 2: Some Germans Have Joined Rebels in Syria