The number of fundamentalist Salafi Islamists in Germany — those who aim to practice their religion according to 7th century norms — is rising at an unprecedented rate.
A survey commissioned by Germany security services estimated that there were around 7,900 active Salfis in Germany this June, Focus Online reports.
In January, there was thought to be 6300: meaning there was a 25 per cent leap in just four months.
For the past three years the number has been rising more steadily, at around just under 6 per cent every four months.
Before January the number rose by 2,500 — form 3,800 to 6,300 — over a three-year period, according to Germany’s intelligence chief Hans-George Maassen.
Salafism is a form a radical Islam very closely related to the Wahhabism practiced in Saudi Arabia.
However, Salafis are completely unaffiliated to the house a Saud. They aim to practice their religion precisely as the first Muslims did in the 7th century, which they view as a “perfect time” – a time when Muslims controlled and ethnically cleansed much of the Middle East under the leadership of the war lord Muhammad.
Radical Salafi Islamists aim to establish an Islamic Theocracy and subordinate non-Muslims and often reject “man made laws”. Both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda practice a form of Salafism, and the great majority of the world’s terrorists come from this school of thought.
In October, Germany’s intelligence chief warned that the country’s existing Salafis were aggressively trying to recruit as many of the hundreds of thousands of new Muslim arrivals walking to Germany from from Syria, Eritrea, Iraq and Afghanistan as possible.
“We have in recent weeks increasingly seen attempts by Salafists to register as workers in refugee camps,” he told Focus.
In October, the State Office for Protection of the Constitution warned that number of radicalised Salafis could double by the end of the year if the radicalisation drive in asylum centres was not controlled.
Bild Newspaper reports that Salafis have been out recruiting on the streets of Munich every Saturday in recent months, even the day after the deadly attacks in Paris.
Authorities have purportedly been powerless to stop them, as they are careful not to openly support terror groups or directly incite violence.