Bavaria’s Interior Ministry has confirmed media reports that radical Islamists are trying to recruit young male asylum seekers arriving in the country unaccompanied. Up to 800,000 asylum seekers are set to be taken in by Germany by the end of the year.
“Salafists are trying to talk with unaccompanied youths who have come to Germany without their families and who are in particular need of support and connections,” a spokesperson from the Bavarian internal security service (LfV) told Süddeutsche Zeitung.
This has been reportedly happening not only at refugee camps, but also at Munich Central Station, where tens of thousands of refugees have arrived over the past week alone.
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“The Salafists are trying to use the desperate situation that refugees find themselves in for their own purposes,” the spokesperson added.
Salafism is an ultra-conservative movement within Sunni Islam, said to be the fastest-growing Islamist movement in Europe. It’s often described as being synonymous with Wahhabism.
Salafist preacher, who is well-known across the country, recently called on Facebook for his followers to reach refugees and win them to their movement, Süddeutsche Zeitung reported. He even reportedly gave a list of concrete ways for approaching asylum seekers. German intelligence services have reportedly drawn a link between Germany’s Salafist movement and jihadists who are radicalized before traveling to Syria to fight for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).
Refugee walks past refugee camp.