German authorities have knowledge of more than two hundred Islamists who are still at large and capable of commiting atrocities. In addition to grown-up radical Islamists, the country is also facing a new threat: a new generation of jihadis who are, at this point in time, only children.
Currently, there are 124 "high-risk", and another 151 "moderate-risk" Islamists at large in Germany, Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) revealed, replying to a question by the Green Party.
BKA's response was published by Die Welt. Islamists under surveillance may commit various politically motivated crimes, including acts of violence, the German daily wrote, citing police sources.
The debate over the increased surveillance of Islamists came into focus one again after last month's stabbing in Dresden, as it turned out that the perpetrator had been classified as a threat to society five days before his release from prison.
On 4 October, a man from Syria attacked two West German tourists in the capital of the German state of Saxony, stabbing one of them to death. Authorities are treating the stabbing incident as a terrorist attack.
The investigation revealed that the perpetrator - boasting an extensve criminal record - was previously sentenced to prison for violence against a public official and supporting a foreign terrorist organisation, among other things.
The German government has reported 240 Islamists who are currently at large and pose a potential danger to society. 135 of them are German citizens, the rest are Syrian, Russian, Iraqi, Turkish and other nationals, but the nationalities of seven Islamists are completely unknown.
Authorities assess the level of threat as "permanently high" and intelligence services warn that "individual attackers inspired by terrorist organisations" pose a serious threat.
The German government has also reported that some Islamists have already been banned for travelling abroad for fear that they will join a terrorist group there. The travel ban currently applies to 24 Islamists who pose a risk and 13 people who are potential Islamist supporters.
The Federal Criminal Police Office has no knowledge how many potential Islamists possess a firearm license. The Green Party's parliamentary spokesman called it unacceptable that the government did not have that information. According to deputy group leader Konstantin von Notz, the government should also develop a strategy for how to treat Islamists who are currently in prison but will be released soon.
A survey suggests that nearly half of German citizens (49.5%) believe that politicians underestimate the risk of Islamist attacks. A poll by the INSA-Consulere Institute for Market and Social Research also reveals that older people are more concerned about this than younger generations. 26.9 per cent of respondents say the threat is not underestimated, while 15 per cent are uncertain about the issue.
Meanwhile, Germany also has to face a new threat, posed by a new generation of jihadis.
As a new phenomenon, kids in primary schools began threatening their teachers with decapitation, painting jihadi warriors during drawing class, and talking about how they want to be "warriors of God" when they grow up. "If we do not act in time, we will have even more problems with the new generation of jihadis in Germany in the future than we do today."
Es ist bereits fünf nach zwölf und – um in der Bildsprache zu bleiben – die Einschläge kommen näher. Wir müssen daher endlich demokratische Geschütze auffahren und unsere gesamte rechtsstaatliche Härte im Kampf gegen Salafisten darbieten.https://t.co/esQwVZ6pXU pic.twitter.com/tpJ6tAOAwL— @ismailtipi (@Ismailtipi) November 22, 2020
The quote belongs CDU integration expert Ismail Tipi, who - following the brutal beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty - reacted to claims by a growing number of German teachers that they were also threatened by their students. The teenage students who threaten their teachers with beheading are mostly aged between 11 and 13. A 13-year-old boy went so far as to beat his own headmaster at school, while a teacher working in another school complained about being told in Arabic by a first-grader that he should die.
Ismael Tipi explained that the children obviously bring such views from home. In Salafist families, many children grow up seeing the ideology of radical Islamism and sharia. Identifying with these values at such a young age cannot be called harmless. On the contrary, these are the foundations of the struggle against our democracy, our freedom, our values and our vision of equality, he said. The expert also warned that kids who are taught this ideology will be unlikely to respect and recognise other value systems when they grow up.