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Chancellor Merkel warned that the Islamic State now controls an area half the size of Germany, and said the terror group is causing "the far-reaching destabilization of an entire region [which] affects Germany and Europe." Defending Germany's decision to send arms to Kurdish fighters in Iraq battling the Islamic State, she also said the more than 400 Germans who have joined the ranks of the IS present a direct threat to Germany. Some 20 former German soldiers are known to have joined jihadist groups in Iraq and Syria. The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency said the Islamic State's brutality has made it "much more attractive" to radicalized German Muslims than the Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's branch in Syria.
The public prosecutor is investigating Abu Bilal Ismail, a Danish imam from the Grimhøj mosque in Aarhus, after he recently told worshipers at the Al Nusrah mosque in Berlin that they should kill Jews "to the very last one" and "[m]ake them suffer terribly." Ismail has also encouraged Danes to travel to Syria for jihad. Pierre Vogel, a Salafist preacher and former boxer, has moved to Hamburg, where officials say there are about 240 Salafists, of whom some 70 support violent extremism.
The Interior Ministry said authorities have stepped up security at airports after a request by the US triggered by fresh concerns that al Qaeda may be trying to smuggle bombs on board airliners to the US. The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency has warned that Islamist terrorism has become the number one threat to Germany, and noted that over 320 German Islamists have traveled to Syria for jihad; he also said the number of Salafists in Germany has risen from 4,500 in 2012 to about 6,000.
Authorities charged Kreshnik B., a German citizen from Frankfurt am Main, with membership in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. Following his return from Syria, he was arrested on suspicion of planning attacks. Authorities are investigating the German Brigade of Millatu Ibrahim, whose leader, Denis Cuspert a.k.a. Deso Dogg a.k.a. Abu Talha al-Almani, is now fighting for ISIS. Interior Minister de Maiziere recently expressed concern that Islamists from Germany are cooperating with ISIS in Iraq as well as in Syria.
German police arrested French jihadist Tewffik Bouallag in Berlin as he arrived on a flight from Istanbul. Bouallag, a native Frenchman, reportedly fought in Syria with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham and is thought to have returned to Europe to recruit fighters for Syria or to plan attacks.