Some young people are attracted to Isis because of its brutality, which makes it appear “more authentic” than al-Qa’ida, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said today.
“There is a link between the [Isis] successes so far in Iraq and the activities here in Germany and the propaganda and canvassing activities aimed at young jihadists,” said Hans-Georg Maassen, head of Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency.
“The Islamic State is, so to speak, the ‘in’ thing – much more attractive than the Jabhat al-Nursa, the al Qa’ida spin-off in Syria,” the BfV chief told Deutschlandfunk public radio. “What attracts people is the intense brutality, the radicalism and rigour,” he said.
At least 400 people from Germany have gone to Syria and Iraq to fight with Islamic extremist groups, Mr Maassen said.
“We have to assume... that there may well be people who return and commit attacks,” he added.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies