Islamists heading from Germany to Syria and Iraq

At least 820 Islamists have left Germany to join jihadists in Syria and Iraq, the German domestic security agency says.

Arutz Sheva North America ,


At least 820 Islamists have left Germany to join jihadists in Syria and Iraq, the German domestic security agency said Friday, voicing concerns about the rapid radicalization of minors after two recent attacks.

Around 40 of those who have travelled to the conflict-torn countries are aged under 18, and half of these are girls, according to latest data released by the BfV spy agency and quoted by AFP.

"Young people are being radicalized quickly and permanently," said its chief Hans-Georg Maassen.

"It is particularly problematic that they cultivate a readiness and ability to heed the call of ISIS to murder non-believers in their own country, using whatever means at their disposal," he said, referring to two recent attacks in Germany.

Police in April arrested two 16-year-olds over an explosion that wounded three people at a Sikh temple, in what was believed to be an Islamist motivated attack against an Indian wedding party at a temple in the western city of Essen.

In the other attack, a 15-year-old girl stabbed a policeman in the neck in Hanover in February. German prosecutors said she was carrying out an operation for the Islamic State jihadist group.

The BfV has sought authorization to collect and store personal data about under-16s who are suspected of extremism.

Among the 820 who have left Germany, about a third have returned while about 140 have been killed in Syria or Iraq.

The intelligence agency last September said 740 Islamists had travelled to the conflict zones.

In February, German police arrested three Algerians suspected of links to ISIS after raids targeting several sites, including refugee shelters where some of the suspects lived.

In December, two former ISIS jihadists, including a would-be suicide bomber, were sentenced to jail by a German court on charges of involvement in a terrorist group.

AFP contributed to this report.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)