More than 300 ISIS returnees pose security threat to the country, German domestic spy agency
The number of Islamists leaving Germany to join the ranks of Islamic State fighters is on the rise, German news magazine DER SPIEGEL reports. More than 910 German residents have left the country to fight under the banner of ISIS including nearly 200 female fighters, DER SPIEGEL wrote citing Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, or BfV.
What makes these revelations most disturbing is the fact that 300 ISIS members — many of whom have active combat experience — are already back in Germany. Most of these battle-hardened terrorists are now back in their communities and in many cases not even under full surveillance.
According to German intelligence assessment, in light of recent territorial setbacks in Syria and Iraq the Islamic State is shifting its strategy to staging more attacks in the West by sending attackers posing as refugees, and recruiting terrorists in Western countries.
DER SPIEGEL reports German intelligence agency’s assessment of ISIS activities in the country:
The number of Islamists leaving Germany to join the terrorist war in Syria and Iraq continues to rise. According to the information received by DER SPIEGEL, the Federal Agency for State Protection [Germany’s domestic spy agency] estimates that so far 910 Jihadists have left the country. Nearly a half [of those who travelled to join the ISIS] are German citizens, and one-fifth of them women.
Around 145 extremists from Germany are thought to have already died in Iraq or Syria. Federal Agency for State Protection estimates that one-third of these Jihadists are meanwhile back in Germany, and 70 [of these returnee] were involved in fighting. […]
Regardless of the military setbacks to ISIS, experts believe that it poses an ever increasing threat to Europe. The experts in the security establishment conclude that the terrorist militia could put more effort into dispatching attackers to the West or recruit attackers in Europe itself. Both of these strategies drove terrorist attacks in France, Belgium and also Germany. (Author’s translation)
Instead of treating them as war criminals — which they are — government is offering taxpayer-funded welfare programmes to integrate them into mainstream German society. States across Germany are funding projects to rehabilitate these ‘traumatised’ ISIS returnees. State of Berlin runs a counseling center exclusively for “Disillusioned Jihad Returnees”.
If Star Wars actor Riz Ahmed fears that Muslims would turn to ISIS if they are excluded from Hollywood, the leading German newspaper SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG thinks, “If excluded, [ISIS returnees] could pose a threat to their home country.” It’s a tricky thing to keep these young Muslim men from ‘radicalising’. You never know what might push them to the ‘dark side’ of the Force.
Preventing ISIS returnees from coming back and stopping migrants from Arab and Muslim countries would be a common sense approach to preventing terrorism. But that would be too much to ask from the present European ruling class.
Video: EU needs to take in more refugees, says German Chancellor Merkel (February 2017)
[Cover image courtesy CNN, YouTube]
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