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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.




A Lebanese man identified as Ismail I. was charged with membership in a terrorist organization after returning from fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham in Syria; his brother Ezzeddine I. and a German identified as Mohammad Sobhan A. were charged with supporting a terrorist organization. At the time of his arrest, Ismail was on his way back to Syria with money, military equipment, and medicine that he had obtained with the help of the other two men. Authorities estimate that some 300 people have gone to Syria from Germany to fight, most of them German-born Muslims.




Police arrested a Somali man in Kehl in possession of a fake Kenyan passport and a fake Swedish visa last week; he said he was applying for asylum. Authorities are building an additional wall to protect the interim storage of nuclear materials at the Gundremmingen nuclear power plant against terrorist attacks.




A court is investigating Ismail I., 24, a Lebanese national suspected of fighting last year in Syria for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham, and two of his accomplices; he was allegedly sent back to Germany by ISIS to procure money and supplies for the group. A court sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in prison on kidnapping and extortion charges.




The Interior Ministry outlawed the "Waisenkinderprojekt Libanon" (Orphan Children Project Lebanon) as the group serves as a front for Hezbollah fundraising, recruits fighters for Hezbollah, and supports families of suicide bombers. The ban was announced after a five-year investigation. Security forces also raided the group's properties in six states. The group's membership is estimated at 80; about 1,000 Hezbollah supporters are thought to be residing in Germany.




Germany's domestic intelligence agency is said to have curtailed operations with Turkey over suspicions that Turkish intelligence was involved the murder of three female Kurdistan Workers' Party activists in Paris in January 2013. At the time of their deaths, two of the slain women were being investigated by German authorities for links to the PKK.




Emrah Erdogan, a German national of Turkish origin with ties to both al Qaeda in Pakistan and Shabaab in east Africa, was sentenced to seven years in prison. His brother Bunyamin, a would-be suicide bomber, was killed by a drone strike in 2010. Emrah was arrested in Tanzania in 2012 and is suspected of links to a bombing in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as an al Qaeda plot against targets in Germany and Pakistan. Germany plans to provide more training to Malian troops and to relocate its troop transport air base from Senegal to Mali.




The government is becoming increasingly concerned about the flow of German jihadists to Syria; they are now said to number in the low hundreds. Demand for residence permits from former Afghan employees of the German military is rising, following the Taliban's recent murder of a former interpreter. Of the 1,500 Afghans who were employed by Germany, only 184 have been approved for residency.




A classified German intelligence report said a "German camp" has been established in Syria for German-speaking jihadists and that German Islamists in Syria have set up media centers to foster recruitment. Eight German jihadists are thought to have died in Syria. The number of European jihadists in Syria has risen to about 1,000, much higher than the 250 estimated in late 2012.




Germany's spy chief said that about 170 German Islamists have traveled to Syria for jihad, and warned that 50 have gone to Syria in recent months. Chancellor Merkel appears likely to win a third term in general elections today.




General Wieker, the head of the German military, told lawmakers that the influence of al-Qaeda linked forces within the Syrian opposition was becoming stronger and stronger. A German newspaper claimed that a German spy ship intercepted calls in recent months from Syrian commanders asking the Assad regime for permission to use chemical weapons but that the permission was repeatedly denied. Another German news report said that German intelligence and the CIA jointly tracked German Islamists from 2005 until 2010, when the cooperation ended.




Chancellor Merkel pushed back from Western plans for an immediate military intervention in Syira, agreeing with Russian president Vladimir Putin that the Syrian crisis can be resolved only by political action, and said that discussions at the UN Security Council should lead to a "unanimous and quick international reaction." Such reaction is a necessary response to the "inhumane poison gas attack against Syrian civilians," she said. Merkel also called on Germans to welcome Syrian refugees.




A German media report said intelligence sources claimed that the recently intercepted communications between al Qaeda leaders included discussion of attacking European railways. German authorities are said to have taken discreet measures in response, including the deployment of plain-clothed police in stations and on trains.




German authorities have asked Sweden to investigate an Iranian linked to a plan by extremist cleric Mullah Krekar to create a terror network of Europeans aimed at establishing an Islamic caliphate in Kurdistan. At least 10 people, residing in Norway, Germany, the UK, Switzerland, and Iraq, are suspected of links to the network, known as "Rawt."




Police are investigating two Tunisian men suspected of plotting to carry out terrorist attacks via model airplanes; raids were carried out in Belgium and in the German states of Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Saxony. Police also searched the apartments of four suspected accomplices in Munich and Stuttgart who are believed to have "provided financing for the militant jihad." Some of the suspects are aerospace engineering students at the University of Stuttgart, where they learn to program model planes for specific flight routes.




The Foreign Ministry said Germany would stick to its position of not providing weapons to a country in a civil war, despite the US decision to step up arms to Syrian rebels in the wake of confirmation that the Assad regime had used chemical weapons. Germany has been providing bulletproof vests and first aid supplies to the Free Syrian Army.




The annual report of Germany's domestic intelligence agency noted that the number of Islamists surged last year; membership in Milli Görüs, the largest Islamist organization in the country, or Hezbollah in Germany, rose to 42,550 in 2012 from 38,080 in 2011, and the number of Salafists rose to 4,500 from 3,800 during the same time period. On the other hand, membership in the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) declined to 6,000.


 
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