Thursday, October 05, 2017

Number of extremists triples in the last five years in Germany's populous state

Number of Salafists again rises in North Rhine Westphalia
240 Dangerous - 780 violence-oriented
The number of radical Salafists in North Rhine-Westphalia has risen to 3,000 activists. At the same time, the those associated with this Islamist ideology is becoming increasingly violent, younger and female, explained NRW interior minister Herbert Reul (CDU) on Thursday at the presentation of the current constitutional protection report in Düsseldorf. Thus, the number of Salafists has tripled in the last five years in the most populous state in Germany.

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Of the 3,000 supporters, 780 are considered to be violent in the opinion of the security authorities. 240 of these persons are classified as so-called "vulnerable", to whom attacks are also attributed. It was especially oppressive that the Salafist scene on the Rhine and Ruhr belonged to 450 women and almost a hundred minors, Reul explained. Since 2012, NRW 250 salafists have been deployed in war zones, of which 70 are women. On a return, these people were often "highly traumatized and radicalized," Reul said.

Internet for recruitment

As a result of their increased surveillance, the Salafists, who are not centrally organized, have increasingly shifted their radicalization from the public sphere into private rooms, isolated online forums, and encrypted messenger services. The terrorist organization "Islamic State" (IS), which is linked to ideology, mainly uses the Internet to spread its jihadist propaganda and to attract potential assassins. According to the findings of the security authorities, Jihadist attacks in Germany should always be reckoned with, said the Interior Minister.

Radicals often act without knowledge of the mosque communities

Last year the security authorities in NRW, according to official data from the population, have reached about 2,000 referals for Salafist activities. In 2013 there were only 700 such referals. Of the 850 mosques around the country, currently 90 prayer houses are currently in the sights of the constitutional protection authorities because of Islamic activities. The radicals often acted without the knowledge and willingness of local mosque communities, Burkhard Freier, the head of the NRW constitutional protection authorities. A year ago only 30 mosques were under surveillance in NRW.

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