The report has concerns about Islamist families that remained in Germany as well as those “who had traveled to war zones in the Middle East.”
Children growing up in Islamist families in Germany pose a serious threat, warned Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the German domestic intelligence agency (BfV), on Monday. He described the ongoing “jihadist socialization” of children as alarming and that the situation presented a significant challenge to the authorities.
The latest disclosure belongs to an intelligence report published by several German media outlets on Monday. “Islamist children pose real ‘threat’ to Germany,” reported the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle, quoting the spy chief Maassen.
Last month, Legal Insurrection reviewed BfV’s annual report that raised the alarm over the large number of women and children attached to ISIS fighters of German origin returning to the country. The intelligence report made public on Monday also expresses concerns over radical Muslim families that had remained in Germany.
German weekly Der Spiegel reported the latest intelligence assessment:
Hundreds of children are living in Islamist families across Germany, says the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [domestic intelligence agency]. The chief of the agency sees them as a threat. Germany state of North Rhine-Westphalia mulls monitoring them at an early [age].
They pose a “not insignificant potential threat.” The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) warns of children growing up in Islamist households. There are signs that the “radicalization of minors and young adults was taking place faster and earlier.”
The Funke media group reported this citing a new analysis from the agency. The Intelligence Agency (BfV) had already warned of returning women and children belonging to Islamic State fighters, who had been send back to Germany by their husbands and fathers or [the government of] Iraq [after their capture].
According to BfV’s analysis presented in the report, the threat is also posed by families living in Germany that didn’t move to the war zones. These are a couple of hundred families with several hundred children, the BfV estimates. The continuing jihadist socialization of children is “a cause for concern and therefore a challenge for the [German] intelligence agency,” BfV chief Maassen told the Funke media group. [Translation by the author]
According to the magazine Der Spiegel, the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has started to consider measures to lower the age limit for surveillance to under 14. “This is not about criminalizing people under the age of 14, but about warding off significant threats to our country, like Islamic terrorism, which also targets children,” Patrick Sensburg, a politician belonging to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU party, said.
Human rights groups rejected the proposal to carry out surveillance on children. The children should not be subjected to surveillance as “their ideas and opinions aren’t yet fully developed and are subject to change,” argued the Humanist Union (HU), the leading German human rights group.
“Putting children under surveillance” amounts to “a massive violation of their fundamental rights,” the rights group added.
Merkel’s open door policy towards migrants from Arab and Muslim countries has bolstered the ranks of Islamists in the country. The number of Islamists has doubled in the past five years, crossing the 10,000 mark in 2017, the German intelligence estimates reveal.
Hundreds of battle-hardened ISIS-returnees pose an even greater security threat. While the recent official report refused to divulge the actual number of ISIS member in Germany, citing insufficient intelligence, last year’s official estimates given out by the German Interior Ministry placed their number of ISIS-returnees at 500. And according to German media reports, most of these returning war criminals freely walk the streets.
Merkel, dictating an open door policy to the rest of Europe, puts German security services in a serious bind. They not only face the moral dilemma of surveilling Muslim children in their teens, but the near-impossible task of infiltrating closed Arab-Muslim clans, mosques, and schools.
Video: British author Douglas Murray on Europe’s migrant crisis
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