- Berlin's Prosecutor General's office announced that security raid campaigns directed against "Chechen suspects from Islamist circles" are taking place in a number of states.
- A report of the Interior Ministry revealed that the number of Salafists in Germany rose last year to 11,500 people.
- According to the estimates of the office, more than 25,810 Islamists lived in Germany at the end of 2017, compared to 24,425 at the end of 2016.
German authorities have launched raids and search campaigns in several states on suspicion of preparing for a “crime that poses a threat to state security.” In the context of proactive policy, the security authorities periodically launch raids and searches in the strict Islamic circles.
Berlin’s Prosecutor General’s office announced today, on the social networking site Twitter, that security raid campaigns directed against “Chechen suspects from Islamist circles” are taking place in a number of states of the country. The prosecution added that the campaigns included the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Thuringia. The authorities did not provide further details about the campaigns.
A report of the Interior Ministry revealed that the number of Salafists in Germany rose last year to 11,500 people. While the number in 2017 reached 10,800 people. According to the Ministry of the Interior in North Rhine-Westphalia, which has been a stronghold of Salafists in Germany for years, the number of Salafists in this state has remained at 3,100.
It is noteworthy that the head of the regional Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) in the state of Hamburg, Torsten Voss, had called for the expansion of the terms of reference with regard to the children of returnees from “ISIS” and families of Salafists in general. Internal Intelligence considers that it is in the interest of these children that the BfV be able to store data for those under 14 years of age, so that these data can be handed over to other authorities if there is a risk to the child’s interest, thus avoiding them becoming militants.
In its annual report, issued on July 24, 2018, the BfV— the German Internal Intelligence Agency— said that the number of Salafists is doubling, and according to the report, Salafists represent Germany’s largest Islamist group. According to the estimates of the office, more than 25,810 Islamists lived in Germany at the end of 2017, compared to 24,425 at the end of 2016. During a relatively short period, the Salafist proliferation strategy seemed largely successful, achieving a multiplication of numbers, and again of new supporters at the expense of competing trends and affiliations. This religious movement brought large numbers of young people to it.
Most of the writings in the history of German Salafism go to the fact that it was founded in 2005 by the Palestinian businessman, Ibrahim Abu Naji, who was living in Cologne, and worked in the field of advocacy. Abu Naji worked to spread Islam through the distribution of millions of copies of the Holy Qur’an, based to the “True Religion Association” in Cologne. It was a humble warehouse in this suburb, and from there the members of the group carried letters and video clips that they published via YouTube and other channels on social media, calling and urging the Germans to convert to Islam.
Among its efforts to stop the spread of jihadist ideas among young people, the security services pursued a policy of “zero tolerance” with violent Salafi activists, and the government tried and imprisoned dozens of those proven to be associated with armed organizations abroad. At the same time, many projects related to the prevention of violence and “de-radicalization,” such as the “Hayat” project or the “Violence Prevention Network” were promoted.