Right now, the world could be converting Facebook profiles to incorporate the German flag and tweeting out variations of “Ich bin ein Berliner.”

But we aren’t, and that may be only because earlier this month police in Berlin arrested four men suspected of plotting a terrorist attack in the heart of the German capital. As the New York Times reported:

An Algerian man suspected of training with Islamic State terrorists in Syria and of planning an attack in Germany was taken into custody at a refugee shelter in North Rhine-Westphalia early Thursday as hundreds of police officers carried out raids in three German states, the police said….

All four men are suspected of links to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, and are believed to have been “planning a violent act intended to seriously damage the state…”

The arrests were front page news here in Germany, of course, but didn’t garner much attention internationally. 

It’s inevitable that the dog that doesn’t bark — or the terrorist cell that doesn’t manage to pull off a strike — doesn’t get widely noticed. While invisible to most of the public, the war against terrorism and Islamic extremism in the West goes on. And it’s impossible to ignore that these would-be murderers entered Europe as part of the ongoing flood of asylum seekers. The good news is that, based on what the German authorities described as a tip from a foreign partner intelligence service, the attackers were arrested before they could execute their plans. 

The bad news is no one knows how many other hundreds or thousands of individuals similarly intent on bringing down Western society have or will come through the same open door. This reality shouldn’t be overlooked in the important debate about migrant and security policies.