19 November 2016

Germany Cracks Down on Salafists to Shield Refugees

For years, the authorities in Germany have warily monitored the swelling ranks of Salafists, followers of an ultraconservative branch of Islam who are known for aggressive proselytizing and their sympathies for the Islamic State.

But after long being perceived as dithering, German officials are cracking down with new resolve, as evidenced in a nationwide sweep against one Salafist group this past week, just days after the arrest of a high-profile imam.

The sudden vigilance has been propelled in part by increasing concern that the Salafists are trying to recruit among the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who arrived a year ago, encouraging some to sign up for jihad in Syria and Iraq or to carry out attacks in Germany.

Some 400 cases in which Salafists approached refugees have been reported nationwide in recent months, said Boris Pistorius, the interior minister of the state of Lower Saxony, in north-central Germany. [NYTimes.com] Read more