Elements of an analysis of Islamists who left Germany to travel to Syria and Iraq have been leaked ahead of official publication later this year. The results, intended for use by security agencies as a basis for preventing Islamic radicalisation, are said to provide some suprises.
The study of Islamists was written by Germany’s domestic security agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Criminal Office and the Hessen Information and Competence Center against Extremism.
It analysed the 670 jihadists who left Germany for Syria and Iraq by June 2015. A similar study based on 400 examples was produced last year, but the report’s authors says this year’s provides an entirely different “scope of information” reports Deutsche Welle.
The 11 pages of the report leaked to the media show the radicalisation process begins in Germany. The study confirms that the internet was a factor in 30 per cent of cases, but other factors were more prevalent. Contacts in mosques accounted for the radicalisation of 33 per cent of those studied, with friends responsible for 37 percent.
The least significant factor was prison recruitment, which accounted for just nine examples.
In half the cases, those leaving Germany reportedly joined Islamist groups abroad, with 78 per cent opting for Islamic State. In doing so they follow the trail blazed by German Islamists before them, such as that taken by Abu Omar al-Almani (pictured above, left) which Breitbart London previously reported.
234 of those studied have returned to Germany, although only 23 of them are now in prison.
Most German Islamists lived in cities before leaving and 21 per cent of those seeking to wage jihad overseas were women. As a whole the average was 25.9 years old and about a third had children, but in 80 cases the Islamists were just 15 to 18 years old.
409 of the 670 jihadists were born in Germany and 399 were German citizens, 160 of which held dual citizenship. The number of religious converts among the number was 114, most converting to Islam before they were 22 years old.
More than half of the German Islamists possess criminal records covering assault, theft, drug-related crime and sexual offenses.
It was noted that many were educated. 80 attended university, though most of those did not actually graduate, and 63 left for Syria or Iraq as soon as they left high school.
The authors of the report intend its findings to be used to inform a joint strategy to prevent and counter Islamic radicalisation in Germany, but the results will be useful for similar efforts in other western European nations.