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The Interior Minister said the government is aware that known jihadists have traveled to Syria to fight with the rebels, and that there have been calls for European fighters to return home for jihad; he said Germany is following the development with "great concern." German officials believe that German jihadists, including Reda Seyam, are assisting with fundraising for Islamist fighters in Syria.
Germany announced a plan to keep as many as 800 military trainers in Afghanistan after the NATO withdrawal in 2014. The plan calls for reducing the number of German soldiers in the country to about 300 by 2017.
European security officials are looking into the possibility that an Iranian-run factory in Dinslaken may have been supplying equipment and materials for Iran's nuclear weapons program. Germany sent a plane to Syria to bring back over 30 Syrians wounded in the Syrian conflict to Germany for treatment.
The Foreign and Interior ministers have indicated that they would support a European Union ban on the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah if its role in the 2012 suicide attack in Burgas, Bulgaria is confirmed. France remains opposed to such a ban.
Three suspects arrested yesterday for plotting to murder the leader of a far-right political party hold German passports and the fourth suspect is an Albanian. Raids yesterday on some 20 apartments belonging to Salafists did not result in any arrests, but laptops, cash, propaganda material, and phones were confiscated. One of the Salafist groups banned yesterday is suspected of helping to fund Islamist groups in Syria.
Authorities banned three radical Islamist groups -- DawaFFM, Islamic Audios, and al-Nussrah -- and raided 21 apartments and a meeting room. The three groups all encourage fighting against those who do not follow the Salafist version of Islam. The German Salafist movement has grown from some 3,800 In 2011 to about 4,500, of whom 30% are non-Germans and 25% are Muslim converts. Four Salafists were arrested last night for planning the murder of a far-right political party leader.
A German-language jihadist propaganda video has surfaced, featuring a Syrian Islamist fighter named Hajan M. who urges Germans to come fight with rebels in Syria. Authorities say the number of Salafists in North Rhine-Westphalia has doubled within a year to 1,000 men, including about 100 who are trained jihadists. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) estimates that 900 people with "Islamist-terrorist potential" are in Germany, including 250 who have completed paramilitary training abroad.