Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) acknowledged Tuesday that hundreds of jihadists were among the million-plus migrants that came to Germany over the last two years.
There were five Islamic terror attacks in the country last year, while at least seven other attempted attacks failed or were thwarted. This trend will likely continue, the agency argued.
“We have to assume that we can expect further attacks by individuals or terror commandos in Germany too,” BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen said at a press conference Tuesday. “Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing the BfV and we see it as one of the biggest threats facing the internal security of Germany.”
The agency's annual report for 2016 said there were 24,400 Islamists in Germany, including around 9,700 Salafists, and the number of Salafists had increased to 10,100 this year. The total also includes some 10,000 members of the Turkish Islamist Milliu Gorus movement, the report showed.
The total number of suspected Islamists marks a drop from the year earlier, but the report said that did not mean the threat had diminished.
"In fact the opposite is the case," the report said, citing a shift toward "a more violence-prone and terrorist spectrum ..." (Reuters)
According to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, Germany has ramped up its efforts to combat Islamic terrorism, particularly over the last year when there was a record number of arrests, prosecutions and deportations.
Security officials are currently monitoring roughly 680 potential Islamic terror threats, he said.