BERLIN (Reuters) – Radical Islam poses a critical security threat to Germany, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere warned on Tuesday, saying the number of people capable of staging attacks in the country stood at an all-time high.
Besides the risk posed by German jihadists returning from Syria, there was also the danger of violent clashes on German streets as rival extremist groups turn on each other – mirroring the conflicts of the Middle East, he told a security conference.
De Maiziere said security forces believed the greatest danger came from radicals striking out alone, as happened in Canada last week, when two soldiers were killed in attacks that police said were carried out by recent converts to Islam.
“The situation is critical. The number of threatening individuals has never been as high as now,” he said. “We represent freedom, and are therefore an object of hate.”
The domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has warned that ultra-conservative Salafism was becoming increasing popular — boosting the number of potential recruits for Islamic State…