At least 20 Islamists have joined the Germany’s armed forces in order to gain detailed knowledge of explosives and weapons, the country’s intelligence service has found.
The military counterintelligence service (MAD) says a further 60 recruits are being investigated over suspicious links to Islamic State sympathisers, with fears “sleeper” agents could even turn their guns on comrades.
The Times reports that Germany’s Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, is now poised to introduce new legislation allowing intelligence officers to vet new recruits before they enter the ranks of the army. Presently, they can only investigate troops after they have been signed up.
Recruiters also say they have received a number of requests from people asking if they can join only on a short-term basis, just long enough to be trained in firearms and explosives.
Last year, MAD president Christof Gramm hinted that extremists may be joining the army. “We’re seeing the risk that the Bundeswehr can be misused as a training camp for violence-ready Islamists,” he said.
Breitbart London reported in July how Germany was increasingly concerned about an influx of Islamists coming into the country as part of the migrant crisis, especially from the Russian region of Chechnya.
In Hamburg, for an example, 280 Russian citizens, most of them Chechens, sought asylum in the first six months of the year alone.
The region is strongly Islamic, but is ruled by ex-rebel Ramzan Kadyrov, who has brutally cracked down on extremists. German intelligence is worried Chechen Islamists may be fleeing his rule and coming to Germany posing as economic migrants and refugees.
The revelation came the same month that the country’s Federal Police Force identified more than 1,100 Islamists as belonging to a terrorist “scene” in regular contact with other extremists.
A further 499 people are on a list of “troublemakers” kept under constant by security services.