German-Pakistani journalist Shams Ul-Haq went undercover to several German asylum homes under false identities and found them full of radical Islamic recruiters and believers.
A former taxi driver and private investigator, Pakistan-born Shams Ul-Haq now works as a freelance journalist in Germany, where he has lived for 15 years. Seeing himself in a unique position to be able to infiltrate the German asylum system he used false identities to travel to various asylum homes to discover the truth on reports of growing levels of Islamic radicalisation, reports Die Welt.
Calling himself “Wakar Ahmad” he infiltrated the giant Tempelhof asylum home in Berlin, in Potsdam he was known as “Osman”, in Eisenhüttenstadt “Raja”, and he even managed to apply for asylum on the Swiss border town of Kreuzlingen under the name “Jamal”. The writer was shocked to discover the level of support in each area for radical Islamic ideas.
“The large refugee homes are a breeding ground for Salafism and extremism,” he writes in his new book entitled Die Brutstätte des Terrors or The Hotbed of Terror. Hanging around the migrants from various countries like Iraq, Syria, and Libya he noticed the proliferation of drug dealing in the asylum homes as well as the ultra-religious Salafist volunteers who cropped up at each home as “volunteers”.
According to Ul-Haq, the Salafists would come to the asylum homes and spread wild rumours to the asylum seekers, saying that Germany would require them to convert to Christianity. He also noted the worse the conditions were in the camps, the easier it was for the Salafists to recruit migrants to become what he called “Holy Warriors”.
Ul-Haq also said that he doubts the official numbers of asylum seekers being investigated for terror links released by Federal Police boss Holger Münch. Official figures state that just over 400 migrants are under suspicion of terror links but Ul-Haq says he expects the real number of at least ten times that figure.
When staying at the Berlin Tempelhof, he said he often overheard talk of an Islamic State sleeper cell in the German capital, and had personally met a Chechen in Eisenhüttenstadt who referred to himself as a Mujahideen.
Along with the rampant radicalism, the investigative journalist noted the multitude of abuses of the asylum procedure by migrants. A Pakistani he met had claimed to have filed dozens of asylum applications across Europe and received thousands of euros as a result. A Libyan he met said that he had been studying in Germany and didn’t want to go home so applied for asylum and pretended he didn’t know any German.
Migrants who had been living in Germany for a long time even frequented the asylum homes, Ul-Haq claims, saying that they would stop by to use the free internet, eat free food, see doctors on site, and even bank pocket money despite the fact they didn’t live there.
While Ul-Haq does not believe that every radicalised asylum seeker will commit terror attacks, he says that they play a role in the infrastructure of Islamic state cells, passing on messages to those who will conduct attacks. “They are considered cannon fodder, and when a cell goes on the run, it is them who are first arrested by the police,” he said.