Germany has not been at the top of the list of countries at risk of terrorism last year, but there is concern that Berlin will become a “terrorist incubator”, exposing it to more terrorist operations in the future.
In 2017, the number of terrorist attacks in Europe rose to about 205, compared with 142 in 2016, according to the Europol annual report.
Despite the decline in terrorist attacks in Germany over the past year compared to Britain (two compared to 107 armed operations), Germany has a significant increase in the number of terrorism-related cases, as well as the growing presence of the Salafi trend.
Over the past year, the number of terrorism cases in Germany has increased five-fold against 2016. The German prosecutor-the highest indictment authority in Germany-has investigated more than 1,200 terrorism cases, including about 1,000 cases of Islamist extremism.
According to the German news agency DPA, the number of investigations into terrorism cases has nearly doubled in comparison to 2016, which has seen about 250 such investigations, including nearly 200 related to Islamic extremism.
According to the German agency, due to the increase in the number of cases related to terrorism, the Federal Public Prosecutor in Germany finally transferred more than a third of these cases to the investigative authorities in the German states; the number of investigations referred to the states was 450 investigations, 98 investigations of which were related to extremism cases.
Growing Salafi trend
The number of terrorism cases is increasing in Germany, as authorities warn of an increase in Salafist members and the number of “dangerous terrorists” residing in the country.
According to official reports from the German Commission for the Protection of the Constitution (Internal Intelligence), the number of Salafis in Germany has risen to 10,800 Salafis, an increase of about 500 people in just three months (in September 2017), while the number did not exceed 9,700 by the end of 2016.
The German authorities see that not all Salafists are involved in violence and extremism, but rather they are under pressure from extremists who use mosques to attract young people and spread extremism.
The head of the German body for the protection of the Constitution, Hans-Georg Messen says, “The Salafist scene is fragmented in the form of separate groups, making it difficult to monitor them.”
Extremism is less common in mosques or organizations that extend beyond borders, but it is more widespread in narrow circles made up over the Internet, in addition to the formation of networks of Salafi women that are difficult to penetrate from the intelligence services.
There are no extremist projects inside Germany, but according to official data by the German government, the federal government registered the existence of «776 Islamists classified as dangerous» on German territory, until early June 2018, 5 percent of which are women and 2 percent of which are minors under the age of 18.