Germany home to 1,950 potentially violent Islamist extremists

Interior ministry releases data on those known or willing to be violent

About 29,000 people with Islamic extremist tendencies are estimated to live in Germany. AFP
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The German government has revealed there are about 1,950 potentially violent Islamist extremists in the country.

These people were assessed by the Interior Ministry as both extreme in their beliefs and either known to be violent or showing a willingness to commit violent acts.

They were the most dangerous of the roughly 29,000 people believed to have Islamist extremist tendencies in Germany, who in turn are a minority of the approximately 5.5 million Muslims in the country.

Ministers have described right-wing extremism as the main threat to Germany’s constitutional order, but sporadic Islamist extremist attacks, including an attack at a Berlin Christmas market in 2016, have rattled the country.

In a written answer to a question from MPs, the ministry said those identified did not necessarily belong to Islamist extremist organisations but were tallied up when evidence of their violent tendencies emerged.

German intelligence services say the Salafist scene is the main ideological underpinning for violent extremism, although it has stagnated in size in recent years.

The foreign intelligence service separately raised the alarm this month about extremists in Germany travelling to Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

About 1,150 people have left Germany to travel to Syria and Iraq in recent years, as the influence of ISIS has grown.

Updated: February 22, 2022, 3:40 PM