Germany
The strong sister of the European group, but for how long.

Local Extremists Recruit Refugees

11/30/15
from The Wall Street Journal,
11/29/15:

Migrants are increasingly ending up at mosques attended by Islamist radicals, authorities say.

[caption id="attachment_87003" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel arrives for a rally of supporters of Salafism, a fundamentalist strain of Islam, in Pforzheim, Germany, last year."][/caption]

The Paris attacks have raised fears of terrorists slipping into Europe by posing as refugees. But in Germany, the top migrant destination, security officials have another worry: Local extremists will recruit the newcomers to join the Islamist cause once they arrive. German authorities warn that migrants seeking out Arabic-language mosques in search of the familiar are increasingly ending up at those attended by Islamist radicals. In interviews, security officials from Berlin to the southwest German state of Saarland said they have registered a sharp rise in the number of asylum-seekers attending mosques they believed attracted extremists.

Federal officials said they have counted more than 100 cases in which Islamists known to them have tried to establish contact with refugees. According to state and local agencies across the country, Islamists have offered migrants rides, food, shelter and translation help. In some cases, they have invited them to soccer games and grill parties, or brought them copies of the Quran and conservative Muslim clothing. “They start by saying, ‘We will help you live your faith,’ ” said Torsten Voss, the head of the German domestic intelligence agency’s Hamburg branch. “The Islamist area comes later—that is, of course, their goal.” Security officials across Germany describe the potential radicalization of migrants, still entering the country by the thousands every day, as a challenge that adds to Europe’s existing security threats. With Germany expecting to take in roughly one million asylum-seekers from the Middle East and elsewhere this year, authorities are scrambling to prevent new pockets of radicalism from forming.

Many politicians and migrant advocates argue that refugees fleeing Islamic State and religious conflict generally have no interest in extremism. Still, others, including Jewish organizations, warn that many of the migrants are coming from places where radical views are common. “Many of the refugees hail from societies in which anti-Semitism and enmity of Israel are propagated,” Josef Schuster, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, said last week, urging that new arrivals be well-integrated and arguing that Germany’s capacity for doing so was limited. Germany—the European Union’s most populous country—hasn’t experienced a major Islamist terror attack in recent years, though it is home to one of Europe’s largest Muslim populations. Part of the reason, security officials say, is that most of Germany’s Muslims have roots in relatively secular Turkey rather than the Arab world.

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