World

Many Jihadists Returning To Germany Still Radicalized

| by Oren Peleg

The defeat of extremist groups in countries like Syria and Iraq could have negative implications for some European countries.

The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) of Germany conducted a report of jihadists returning to Germany after fighting with terrorist groups in the Middle East that found that only one in four of the militants cooperate with authorities.

According to The Local, the 61-page government report found that about 850 Germans went to fight in Syria and Iraq, some joining such radicalized jihadist groups as ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Junud al-Sham.

Over a third of those militants then returned to Germany, and 48 percent were “still devoted to their extremist cause.”

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Eight percent of those returning made a “tactically-motivated return to recover to procure new equipment or money," while 10 percent returned after becoming disillusioned with the fight.

The report was completed in conjunction with the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and the Hessian Information and Competence Centre against Extremism (HKE).

In July 2014, eight European Union nations announced a plan to exchange intelligence about jihadists returning to their European homes, Politico reported.

Some 3,000 people were believed to have joined the war in Syria from Europe between 2011 to July 2014.

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“We want to prevent people from drifting towards extremism,” Peter Beuth, interior minister for the German state of Hesse, told Die Welt, according to The Local.

But the appeal of jihad looks to be dropping. In 2014, up to 100 people a month were leaving to fight in the various Middle Eastern conflicts. But for the period July 2015 to June 2016 only 49 were thought to have left.

“The work of authorities, as well as the monitoring and arrests of those departing or entering has had an impact,” Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian interior minister, added.

As the BBC reports, Sir Julian King, the EU security commissioner, stated that even a few returning radicalized militants constitute "a serious threat that we must prepare ourselves for".

Sources: The Local, Politico, BBC / Photo Credit: Politico 

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