Germany Estimates More Than 500 Islamist Militants Are In The Country

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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Germany estimates 520 potential Islamist militants could carry out attacks in the country, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the newspaper Bild on Saturday.

An additional 360 “relevant” people are investigated for having close relations with the potential terrorists. De Maiziere said he fears terror “hit teams” have been smuggled into the country with the stream of refugees.

“The terror threat now stems from foreign hit teams as well as fanatical lone wolves in Germany,” de Maiziere said. “The hit teams are secretly smuggled into Europe and prepare their actions without being noticed, as we saw with the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”

Several lone-wolf attacks have taken place during the summer, including a suicide bombing, a mass shooting and a number of stabbings. De Maiziere says the lone wolves are much harder to detect than the organized hit teams, and that authorities have no clue how many people would fall into the category.

“It’s even more difficult to uncover the fanatical lone wolves,” he said. “Unfortunately, there is a real and present danger from both threats.” (RELATED: Germany Doubles Number Of Migrants Suspected Of Being Terrorists)

Germany recently doubled the number of suspected Islamic militants who have entered the country as refugees from 18 in January to 40 in May. The total number of investigations carried out against possible extremists among the refugees were 369 at the time.

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