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Islamist terrorists snuck into EU from Ukraine – German spies

Jihadists remain a major threat to the country, the security agency BfV has warned

Jihadist pose a serious domestic security risk to Germany, the security agency BfV warned on Tuesday, singling out the Afghanistan-based offshoot of the once-powerful terrorist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

The group, designated ISPK by the German intelligence service, “has managed to bring followers to Western Europe, possibly with the wave of refugees from Ukraine, who are now staying here in various Western European countries,” Director General Thomas Haldenwang told the media on Tuesday.

The senior official and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser presented an annual report on the BfV’s activities over the past year. The episode he was referring to happened in early July 2023, when a series of arrests were conducted in Germany and the Netherlands.

A total of nine people from Central Asia were taken into custody at the time for allegedly founding a “domestic terrorist group” and preparing major attacks on European soil. Seven of them lived in Germany.

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The group was allegedly in contact with ISPK, also known as ISIS-K, and had entered the European Union from Ukraine “almost simultaneously,” according to German security officials. The suspects were described as “black sheep” among Ukrainians when the arrests happened.

ISPK has a large number of supporters and calls for “major attacks,” Haldenwang said. He cited as an example the gun and arson massacre at a concert hall outside of Moscow in March, which the Afghanistan-based group claimed credit for.

Moscow believes that Ukrainian intelligence services had facilitated the Crocus City Hall attack, which left over 145 people killed. ISPK could have just lent its brand name to the plot, which helped the real mastermind recruit the perpetrators, Russian officials have suggested.

READ MORE: Ukrainian spies involved in Moscow terror attack – FSB chief

The BfV’s report is over 400 pages long and covers a wide spectrum of threats, from foreign espionage to domestic extremism to terrorism. The strength of jihadist terrorist organizations is estimated at 27,200 people.

June 19, 2024 at 04:28PM

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