Germany: ISIS 'Hit Squads' Are Disguised As Refugees

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Syrian refugeesSyrian refugees

German intelligence officials have said ISIS "hit squads" have infiltrated the country disguised as refugees. 

“We have substantial reports that among the refugees there are hit squads. There are hundreds of these reports, some from refugees themselves. We are still following up on these, and we haven’t investigated all of them fully,” said vice president of the Bavaria's intelligence agency, Manfred Hauser, according to Politico.

Bavaria has been the target of a number of terrorist attacks since July. On July 18, five people were injured on a train after being attacked by an Afghan refugee wielding an axe. Almost a week later, 15 people were injured outside a bar after a Syrian asylum seeker attempted a suicide bombing.

“We have repeatedly seen that terrorists ... have slipped in camouflaged or disguised as refugees. This is a fact that the security agencies are facing,” sad Germany's domestic intelligence chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, according to Newsweek.

More than 1 million refugees have entered the country in 2015, thanks to Germany's open-door policy. Newsweek reports that German citizens have sent more than 100 tips about ISIS agents dressed as refugees to the domestic intelligence agency. Maassen says that many of those calls were only attempts to defame refugees. 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is sticking by her open-door policy, according to The Financial Times, but has agreed to accelerate the deportation process for refugees found to have committed a crime or to have ties to extremist groups. Additionally, anyone with a dual citizenship who has fought for a terrorist organization will lose their German nationality. 

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has also unveiled a plan to provide the police force with more funding and to increase police presence, especially in railway stations.

"We are in a serious situation and there is a high risk that there could be an attack," said Maassen. "But the security agencies, the intelligence services and the police authorities are very alert and our goal is to minimize the risk as best we can."

Sources: Politico, Newsweek, The Financial Times / Photo credit: Flickr

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