Friday, 13 June 2014
From JF

According to estimations made last Tuesday by Hans-Georg Maaßen, the president of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, some 100 Syrian fighters have already returned to Germany, and approximately a dozen among them must have concrete experience in war. According to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, more than 200 fighters with German nationality are still present in the civil war area. Some 25 fighters are probably dead.

Hans-Georg Maaßen warned about the terrorist danger posed by those veterans. He pointed to the attack in Brussels, during which four people were shot dead at a Jewish museum. The presumed perpetrator was the French national Mehdi Nemmouche. The 29-years-old man had allegedly taken part in the Syrian civil war for over a year. This would be the first attack of an individual having returned from Syria to Europe.

Although the Office has no evidences of a „concrete terrorist mission” in Germany, “a considerable danger” is still posed by the militant returners, Maaßen warned. “The timely recognition of the returners and the application of proper measures make the security forces face a great challenge”, he admitted. It is precisely to Germany that it is quite simple to travel through the Turkish border to Syria.

A working team shall now find out how to deal with this challenge in the states belonging to the G7 group. There are talks about measures to make more difficult for suspected individuals to travel to Syria, or to be able to identify them more easily as Syrian fighters. The flow of information shall be strengthened so that individual estates can better inform each other about potentially dangerous returners.

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