German government tight-lipped on threat of Islamic extremism in the Balkans

The German federal government cannot discount the “basic threat posed by individuals and splinter groups in the Islamist scene” in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the statement given in reply to a short list of questions submitted by the Left Party group in the Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, which was provided to DW. The government also claims that contacts exist between radical Islamist groups in the Balkans and Germany. Still, the government’s own foreign intelligence service, the BND, says it has no concrete evidence of a growing Islamist movement in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The statement is a partial refutation of a report published in the German daily Berliner Zeitung last November, which claimed the BND was increasingly focused on the Balkans — specifically Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A number of concrete answers to the Left Party questionnaire are classified. The German government is loathe to comment publicly on the flood of money from Arab Gulf states that is supposedly financing the teaching of Wahhabism, the hardline sect of Islam promoted by the Saudi Arabian government, in the Balkans. They similarly declined to publicly comment on the posting of Saudi and Turkish imams in Bosnia.