German special police members walk near a mosque association property in Berlin. (Reuters)
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BERLIN – The number of radical Islamists in Germany had increased remarkably in the recent months, German intelligence warned on Tuesday.
Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) reported that the number of Islamist extremists has reached 7,900 in September from 7,500 in June, adding that many were trying to lure asylum-seekers into their ranks.
“We are very concerned that Islamists in Germany are trying, under the cover of humanitarian assistance, to exploit the situation of the refugees for their own ends and to proselytize and recruit among asylum-seekers,” BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen said in a statement.
In the meantime, German police carried out eight raids in Berlin on Tuesday targeting suspects recruiting people to join the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group in Syria.
The German police said the raids “began at 6:30 am and targeted, among others, a 51-year-old Moroccan, suspected of recruiting for the extremist group.”
“A 19-year-old Macedonian thought to be currently in Syria is also suspected of involvement in the recruitment drive,” it said in a statement.
“One raid was conducted at an association adjoining a mosque in Berlin’s central Tempelhof-Schoeneberg district.”
More than 600 German nationals have joined radical groups in Iraq and Syria, according to German intelligence.