Russians and Jihadists: What German domestic intelligence worries about

Recently Hans-Georg Maassen, the chief of the mouthful Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – BfV for short, i.e. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, charged with fighting espionage and terrorism – admitted that, thanks to the Ukraine crisis“efforts by Russian intelligence services to collect information on potential political, economic, and military consequences” in Germany were demonstrably on the rise. 

Much of the targeting by both the Russian foreign intelligence agencies, the civilian SVR and the military’s GRU, is aimed at trying to learn about “the assessment of Russia’s Ukraine policy by Germany, the EU, and NATO, as well as potential countermeasures,” yet through it all, energy policy remains of particular interest to Kremlin spymasters. Moreover, although Maassen was reluctant to provide details, the report noted, “apart from the mere collection of information, Russian intelligence services also make efforts to influence opinion in Germany.”

As if this rising threat were not enough for the BfV to fret about, there’s the increasingly worrisome matter of Germans waging jihad in Syria (and also now Iraq). They are a “considerable risk,” Maassen said, particularly in light of the recent attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels by a recently returned French jihadist from Syria, which has awakened German security officials to the seriousness of this threat.

According to the BfV, at least twenty-five German Islamists have lost their lives in the conflict between jihadists and the Assad regime, while more than 320 jihadists from Germany have left the country for Syria since the outbreak of the conflict. So far, some 100 have returned, “more than a dozen of whom have combat experience.”

The BfV will be busy for some time yet …. watch this space for updates.


9 comments on “Russians and Jihadists: What German domestic intelligence worries about”
  1. AIM9 says:

    “The BfV will be busy for some time yet …. watch this space for updates.”

    Don’t know you’ve seen this – and I will not even get within ten feet of vouching veracity.

    But … Perhaps … Okay. I guess we’ll see.

    Hmmm. That link looks a little squirrely.

    1. Mike Lumish says:

      The Guardian.

  2. Should have never allowed the mass immigration of Muslims into Germany. Now what? Sharia law, bombings, underage ‘grooming’ by Muslim men of German girls, and internal infighting and struggle for political power and control. Just look at Britain’s woes with their Muslim immigrants. The USA better wise up soon….

  3. Marcos Arroyos says:

    How can something be “demonstrably on the rise,” when the man making such a claim is “reluctant to provide details?”

    1. 20committee says:

      And why do you think that is?

      1. Marcos Arroyos says:

        First, let me say that I’m an interested observer. I have no background or training in intelligence. However, I do have education in language. To claim something is demonstrable but not demonstrate it, lessens the value of the claim in my book. The claim becomes an unverifiable statement. It may have rhetorical value, but it doesn’t persuade.

        The person’s motives for making such a claim can only be surmised. Perhaps he can’t demonstrate the claim due to necessary secrecy. Perhaps the claim isn’t demonstrable, but he wants his audience to believe him, so he claims it is. Perhaps he was sloppy when he made such a claim. I imagine there are other motives I can’t discern.

        I was just commenting by way of a question how that logical contradiction could be. Do you have other insight as to why the person made such a claim?

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