The German region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has seen a dramatic increase in the number of radical Islamic extremists over the last year with some being described as particularly violent.
The northern region, which is also the homeland of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saw the radical Islamic Salafist scene grow from 40 members in 2016 to 130 by the end of last year, broadcaster NDR reports.
The growth follows a nationwide trend as the number of Salafist extremists has risen substantially since the height of the 2015 migrant crisis.
The German domestic spy agency, the Agency for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), estimates that there are now around 10,000 Salafist extremists in the country and that around 1,800 of them are believed to be violent.
The agency notes that the extremists from the northern caucus region are particularly prone to violence. In Berlin, migrants from Chechnya have been involved in so-called “morality police” groups who enforce strict sharia law among other migrants in the Chechen community.
Last year, the German federal prosecutor based in the city of Karlsruhe opened 1,031 preliminary investigations into radical extremists and has noted a rise in the number of female extremists in the Salafist scene.
Germany Opened 1,000 Investigations into Radical Islamic Extremists in 2017 https://t.co/ZlD5pcIa8j
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The Mecklenburg-Vorpommern branch of the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party said that the increase was a great concern while the Interior Ministry of the region said that Salafist preachers were likely targetting asylum seekers for recruitment.
Salafist groups have not only been linked to extremist rhetoric and recruitment for terror groups like the Islamic State but have also been tied to terrorists like failed Tunisian asylum seeker Anis Amri who killed a dozen people at a Berlin Christmas market in 2016.