When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Germany

Germany Warns Of ISIS Infiltration, Recruitment Of Refugees

Top German security officials say criminals and violent Islamists are using the asylum crisis to recruit refugees. They especially target minors traveling alone.

Refugees in Dresden, Germany
Refugees in Dresden, Germany
Stefan Aust, Michael Behrendt, Manuel Bewarder and Claus Christian Malzahn*

BERLIN — Germany's top domestic security official is warning that ISIS is actively recruiting among the new waves of refugees arriving in the country.

Hans-Georg Maaßen, president of Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, told Die Welt that Islamist terror groups are busy trying to recruit refugees, especially young men who have traveled without their families and are looking for people to connect with.

"We have counted about 300 direct approaches," Maaßen says. "And we do think that the real number is a lot higher than the reported cases we know of. We especially worry about the many unaccompanied minors. The recruitment process holds an enormous potential for radicalization."

Radical elements in mosques and Arabic-speaking criminal networks also see the potential in connecting with refugees, he said, "especially young and physically strong men."

Maaßen further warns that the ISIS terror group is using the flood of refugees to infiltrate combatants. "ISIS is planning on attacking Germany and German values," he told Die Welt. German cities have been named in the same context as Paris, London and Brussels.

André Schulz, head of the Federation of German Detective Officers (BDK), says that there are thousands of immigrants in Germany whose origins are unknown. "We don't know where they came from and where they are right now," Shulz says. He characterizes that situation as unacceptable for a constitutional state.

"The assumption of some politicians that it's highly unlikely that ISIS combatants would enter the country by mixing in with refugees is simply naïve," Shulz said.

German authorities are currently looking for dangerous Islamists who have disappeared — among them 76 violent individuals with outstanding arrest warrants. In 2015, approximately 150 Islamists left Germany to return to Iraq or Syria. Over the years, 800 departures have been counted. Among them, approximately 130 are dead, 80 of them killed in fighting last year. About 70 have actively participated in battles or have gone through some sort of a military training.

*This is an abbreviated version of the original article.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Geopolitics

Minsk Never More: Lessons For The West About Negotiating With Putin

The longer the war in Ukraine continues, the louder calls will grow for a ceasefire . Stockholm-based analysts explain how the West can reach a viable deal on this: primarily by avoiding strategic mistakes from last time following the annexation of Crimea.

"War is not over" protests in London

Hugo von Essen, Andreas Umland

-Analysis-

Each new day the Russian assault on Ukraine continues, the wider and deeper is the global impact. And so with each day, there is more and more talk of a ceasefire. But just how and under what conditions such an agreement might be reached are wide open questions.

What is already clear, however, is that a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine must not repeat mistakes made since the open conflict between the two countries began more than eight years ago.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Contrary to widespread opinion, the so-called Minsk ceasefire agreements of 2014-2015 were not meant as a definitive solution. And as we now know, they would not offer a path to peace. Instead, the accord negotiated in the Belarusian capital would indeed become part of the problem, as it fueled the aggressive Russian strategies that led to the escalation in 2022.

In early September 2014, the Ukrainian army suffered a crushing defeat at Ilovaisk against unmarked regular Russian ground forces. Fearing further losses, Kyiv agreed to negotiations with Moscow.

The Minsk Protocol (“Minsk I”) – followed shortly thereafter by a clarifying memorandum – baldly served Russian interests. For example, it envisaged a “decentralization” – i.e. Balkanization – of Ukraine. An uneasy truce came about; but the conflict was in no way resolved.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ