Germany to start new de-radicalization programm combatting “home-grown” Islamists

Germany is to set a new focus on persuading radical “home-grown” Islamists who are flirting with terrorism to moderate their views, according to the news magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday. The efforts are to be directed mainly at people who have been raised in Germany, both converts to Islam of German parentage and German-schooled Muslims whose parents were immigrants.

In a report to appear in its issue to appear Monday, Der Spiegel said a “forum” was being set up next month at a national anti-terrorism agency, the Joint Anti-Terrorism Centre (GTAZ), in Berlin to coordinate those efforts. It said the 16 states would also discuss this week how to prevent persons serving jail time for terrorist offenses from recruiting other prisoners to their cause. Der Spiegel said Germany would ask moderate Islamic communities and clergy to speak to them.

Prisons and sports clubs were common places for spreading radical ideas, another news magazine, Focus, reported Saturday. It said police knew of 185 German-raised Islamists who received training in terrorism methods in central Asia, Afghanistan or Pakistan over the past decade, and about 90 men with such military training were currently living in Germany.