The number of terrorism-related cases investigated by German authorities have quadrupled over the past year, newspaper Welt am Sonntag revealed Sunday.
Prosecutors have opened more than 900 cases so far this year, compared to 240 throughout 2016. Just 80 cases related to terrorism reached the courts in 2013.
The federal prosecutors office can’t keep up with the increase and nearly 300 cases have been transferred to the state level. Not all cases involve plans to carry out attacks. Migrants from Syran, Iraq and Afghanistan have been tried over alleged membership in terror groups without being suspected of planning attacks on European soil.
Germany’s federal police (BKA) estimates 705 Islamist extremists are willing to carry out terror attacks, up from 600 during an estimate in February. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) recently said around 24,400 Islamists are active in the country but most of them don’t pose an immediate terror threat.
BKA chief Holger Münch told daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau in July that the danger from the far-right and far-left is minor compared to threats posed by jihadis.
“In the left-wing scene, the [German] states have currently estimated a number that can be counted on the fingers of one hand,” Münch said. “In the right-wing scene, the number is in the low double digits.”
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