brief seen by the Süddeutsche
broadcasters NDR and WDR raised concern over a reported increase in
support for fundamentalist Salafism in Germany, warning that the
ideology already has 10,000 followers and is growing.
report, by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal
Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly accused Gulf groups of funding
mosques, religious schools, hardline preachers and conversion or
“dawah” groups to spread the ideology
movements were part of a “long-running strategy to exert influence”
by the three states, it found, naming the Saudi Muslim World League,
Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and Kuwaiti
Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which has been banned by
the US and Russia for allegedly supporting al-Qaeda.
report said all three organisations were “closely connected with
government offices in their home countries”.
BND and BfV have not confirmed the accuracy of leaked excerpts but
some members of the security community believe it was internally
leaked to pressure the German government into stopping controversial
arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
country’s ambassador to Germany, Awwas Alawwad, rejected
accusations of supporting Salafism, saying his government does not
build mosques or export imams and has “no connection with German
added that the Muslim World League was not a Saudi government
organisation and discontinued activities in Germany in 2013.
Sheikh Eid association and RIHS have also denied connections to
jihadi terrorism in the past.
report comes weeks after the German government banned
an Islamist missionary group linked
to more than 140 Isis fighters following raids on mosques, offices
and homes across the country.
Wahre Religion (DWR), meaning “The True Religion”, started in
2005 and claimed to spread Islam in Germany “in a modern form and
with the help of new media”.
Salafist group gained prominence with a Quran distribution campaign
called Lies!, meaning “Read!”, which has since spread to
countries including the UK, France, Bahrain and Brazil.
officials said the initiative was “bringing jihadi Islamists
together across the nation under the pretext of preaching Islam”
while spreading hate and conspiracy theories.
de Maiziere, the German interior minister, said that the prohibition
of DWR aimed to stop the “abuse of a religion by people, who under
the pretext of spreading Islam are propagating extremist ideologies
and supporting terrorist organisations”.
officers stand in front of the Al-Taqwa Mosque during a search in
Hamburg, Germany, 15 November 2016. (EPA)
banning this organisation, a major source of radicalisation has been
eradicated nationwide,” he added.
has been on high alert since it was hit by two terror attacks carried
out by Isis supporters
in July, with other plots subsequently uncovered amid warnings that
attempts to attack Europe will continue.
al-Bakr, a suspected Isis supporter detained on suspicion of planning
to attack a Berlin airport with homemade explosives,killed
himself in prison days
after being arrested in October.
to figures released in May by intelligence services, 820 jihadis have
left Germany for Syria and Iraq, with a third known to have returned,
140 killed and 420 remaining abroad.
have risen following the arrival of almost 900,000 refugees in the
country last year, driving support for right-wing groups and a
national debate on Islam and integration.