Close to 60 Syrian militia fighters came to Germany as refugees

By Jacob Bojesson

Close to 60 people from an al-Qaida-linked militia group in Syria entered Germany posing as refugees, German magazine Der Spiegel reported Saturday.

The group allegedly fought for the Owais al-Qorani Brigade on numerous sides of the Syrian war. The group originally supported the rebel Free Syrian Army before switching to al-Qaida-affiliated al-Nusra Front, according to Spiegel.

Security sources told the magazine that members of the group took part “in numerous massacres of captured civilians and Syrian soldiers.” One of the members who entered Germany in 2014 allegedly participated in a beheading massacre that killed 36 police, military and administrative officials.

A special task force has been set up to investigate the group’s whereabouts in Germany.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV) recently said hundreds of jihadis arrived among the more than one million migrants who entered the country over the past two years.

BfV further warned that the growing number of Islamist militants in the country makes further terror attacks highly likely.

Germany suffered five Islamist-motivated attacks in 2016, while at least seven other attacks failed. The agency said the number of ultra-conservative Salafists in the country has gone up from 8,350 in 2015 to 10,100 in 2016. Of those, around 680 are classified as “dangerous.” In total, around 24,400 Islamists are active in Germany.

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