'Living Time Bombs': German Intelligence Chief Warns of ISIS Returnees

'Living Time Bombs': German Intelligence Chief Warns of ISIS Returnees
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Published February 1st, 2018 - 12:35 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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The radicalization of minors has been a big topic in Germany given that three of five Islamist attacks in Germany in 2016 were carried out by minors, and a 12-year-old boy was also detained after trying to bomb a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen (AFP/File)
The radicalization of minors has been a big topic in Germany given that three of five Islamist attacks in Germany in 2016 were carried out by minors, and a 12-year-old boy was also detained after trying to bomb a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen (AFP/File)
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  • Germany's domestic intelligence agency warned against radicalized ISIS returnees
  • The agency's chief said these women and children have been "brainwashed"
  • He urged to repeal laws restricting surveillance of minors under the age of 14
  • "We have to consider that these children could be living time bombs"

 

The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency has warned of the 'massive danger' posed by returning ' brainwashed' ISIS women and children.

"There are children who have undergone brainwashing in the ISIS areas and are radicalized to a great extent," said Hans-Georg Maassen.

He said Germany should consider repealing laws restricting surveillance of minors under the age of 14 to prepare for the increased risk of attacks by children as young as nine.

"We see that children who grew up with [ISIS] were brainwashed in the schools and the kindergartens of [ISIS]," he said. "They were confronted early with the ISIS ideology ... learned to fight, and were in some cases forced to participate in the abuse of prisoners, or even the killing of prisoners."

Maassen, head of the Office for the protection of the Constitution, added: "We are already observing the return of some women and adolescents. This is a problem for us because these children and adolescents in particular can be a danger.

"We also know that there are women one can rightfully call jihadists after living for years in ISIS areas where they identified strongly with ISIS ideology.

"We have to consider that these children could be living time bombs," he said. "There is a danger that these children come back brainwashed with a mission to carry out attacks."

 

 

The radicalization of minors has been a big topic in Germany given that three of five Islamist attacks in Germany in 2016 were carried out by minors, and a 12-year-old boy was also detained after trying to bomb a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen.

The German government says it has evidence that more than 960 people left Germany for Iraq and Syria through November 2017 to fight for [ISIS], of which about a third are believed to have returned to Germany. Another 150 likely died in combat, according to government data.

Maassen said ISIS also continued to target vulnerable youths in Germany through the Internet and social media, often providing slick advertising or age-appropriate propaganda to recruit them to join the jihadist group.

He said not all were returning home intent in perpetrating terror but insisted: "We must keep an eye on these women."

Germany lost around 1,000 of its citizens to the ISIS cause in Iraq and Syria, Europe as a whole an estimated ten to 15,000.

Maassen added: "The geographical demise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq does not lead to the disappearance of the terrorist militia. ISIS is now represented in some other states and is quite strong there. In addition, the group is networking enormously in virtual space. There's a global cyber-caliphate.

"It sends the message to its followers: 'You don't necessarily have to come to Syria and Iraq to fight. You can also lead jihad where you are.'"

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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