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Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Germany: Prosecutors probing more terrorism suspects

BKA headquarters in WiesbadenBKA HQ in Wiedesbaden. Image via Wikipedia
Of the 350 preliminary investigations into suspected Islamist terrorists, 220 inquiries are currently being handled by Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and "almost half of those are aimed at finding the perpetrators of attacks on German troops in Afghanistan," BKA chief Joerg Ziercke said.

Under German law, attacks on German nationals anywhere are a crime and must be investigated if a complaint is made.

However, according to Guido Steinberg, an analyst at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the upsurge in proceedings against Islamist terror suspects is not only due to attacks on German soldiers in Afghanistan that are prosecuted here in Germany.

"A kind of German jihadist scene has emerged since 2006, and that is also why the number of people under scrutiny has risen," Steinberg told Deutsche Welle.

The BKA considers about 1,100 people in Germany to be part of an "Islamist terrorist personnel potential."

"Nationwide, security forces have an eye on 127 potentially threatening individuals," Ziercke told the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung newspaper on Monday.

Since the beginning of last year, there has been an increase in the number of Germans travelling to Islamist training camps, Zierke said. "More than 30 young Germans went to Afghanistan or Pakistan in 2009." 
"There's a German community in the area now. A group of 10-12 people is trying to lure others with German-language propaganda," he said.

"Unfortunately, they are successful."
German police investigates Taliban attacks in Afghanistan.

Video shows German jihadists in Afghanistan.
German intelligence warns of Jihadi families.
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