Historian Christian Osthold, who is an expert in the history of Russia and Chechnya, claims that “dangerous” Chechen migrants have taken over the Islamist scene in Brandenburg with many having links to Islamic State.
According to immigration statistics, the number of Chechen migrants living in Brandenburg has increased significantly from 2,936 in December 2015 to 9,733 by the end of August 2017, Focus reports.
A report from March by the Brandenburg State Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the state’s domestic spy agency, states: “Islamist extremism in Brandenburg is predominantly influenced by migrants from the North Caucasus.”
“Among these North Caucasians are adherents of the Caucasian Emirates (KE), a terrorist organisation in the North Caucasus, who are aiming for an independent state of theocracy […] Germany is used as a rest and retreat area,” the report adds.
Osthold claims that the “North Caucasians” in the report are really Chechens noting that it is the only area in the region which has had such recent and prolonged civil conflict.
The historian says that while there are only 100 “official” violent jihadists listed in Brandenburg, the danger from the Chechen Islamists should not be underestimated.
Along with Islamists, Osthold says there are claims that Russian state spies may have come into Germany as false asylum seekers to keep tabs on critics of the Chechen regime of Ramzan Kadyrov. The Chechen regime has been accused of abusing homosexual residents and even placing them in camps, though Kadyrov denied there were any homosexuals in Chechnya at all.
A letter written by Brandenburg Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Schröter earlier this year claimed that 50 per cent of the 80 influential Islamists in the region were from the “North Caucasus”.
Another major worry for German authorities is the fact that the so-called “Caucasus Emirate” declared their loyalty to Islamic State in 2015.
Examples of Chechen radicalism have been seen in nearby Berlin where Chechen Islamist gangs are said to act as “morality police” enforcing sharia law on the streets of the German capital sometimes through intimidation and violence.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 15, 2016
Osthold’s concerns over Chechen migrants echo those of German security services in 2016 who expressed concern over the rapid increase in Chechen migrants and their possible ties to Islamist groups.