Germany’s Islamist scene is growing rapidly and authorities believe almost 10,000 followers are in the country.
The Salafist movement in Germany nearly doubled from 3,800 members in 2011 to 7,500 in 2015, according to government estimates. New figures released Sunday by Hans-Georg Maassen, Germany’s domestic terror chief, reveal the number is now above 9,700.
“It’s of great concern to us that this scene is not only growing, but it is also very diversified. There is not just one, two, three or four people who have a say,” Maassen said, according to AFP. “Rather, there are many people who dominate this Salafist scene. And all these people have to be watched.”
Authorities recently celebrated the break up of the ISIS-linked “True Religion” group after simultaneous raids of 200 mosques, apartments and offices across 10 states in November. (RELATED: Germany Carries Out 200 Simultaneous Raids Against Islamists)
But a worrying trend, according to Maassen, is that more Salafist groups continue to pop up around the country. With more players in the Salafist scene, it is difficult for authorities to keep up.
“So you can no longer talk about a Salafist scene as a whole, but you have to deal with many hotspots. That makes things more difficult for us, because we can no longer just watch a few people. We have to monitor many groups,” Maassen said.
Germany’s Interior Ministry said 62 failed asylum seekers believed to be Islamists are currently set for deportation, newspaper Welt reported Sunday.
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