German Prosecutor General warns of rising Islamist terrorism threat

by IANS |

Berlin, June 19 (IANS/DPA) German Federal Prosecutor General Jens Rommel has identified Islamist terrorism as one of the primary security concerns facing Germany.


Rommel on Tuesday disclosed that out of over 700 investigations conducted last year in the field of terrorism and state security, nearly 500 were linked to Islamist terrorism.


According to Rommel, more than 40 cases were related to Right-Wing Extremists and three were attributed to Left-Wing Extremism.


Rommel said that 38 of the initiated proceedings were related to international criminal law.


Politically motivated crimes have increased across the spectrum, according to the prosecutor, who said that "the numbers support our impression that we are indeed living in turbulent times."


In particular, the Khorasan Province branch of the Islamic State is targeting Germany for recruitment attempts and attacks, Rommel said.


Rommel also mentioned that radicalised individuals with no ties to an Islamist organisation also pose a threat to internal security. He cited the recent fatal knife attack on a police officer in the south-western German city of Mannheim as an example.


In May, a 25-year-old Afghan man injured five people with a knife at a rally organised by the anti-Islam movement Pax Europa and stabbed a police officer who later died from the injuries.


"We assume that the act was religiously motivated," Rommel said.


The Prosecutor's Office believes that the Palestinian Islamist organisation Hamas is increasingly posing a threat of attacks in Europe.


Rommel referred to the arrest of four suspected Hamas members in December: "According to our information, they were to retrieve weapons from conspiratorially created earth depots and keep them ready for attacks on Jewish institutions in Europe."

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