Peter Neumann reporting on a German symposium on Islamist terrorism.


With the elections over, the immediate danger seems to have passed. The jihadist threat, however, continues to be high on the BfV's agenda. The BfV speaker at the symposium highlighted the following trends:

* An increasing number of 'home-grown' cells

* The rising number of converts involved in jihadist activities

* The increasing attractiveness of jihadism to Muslims of Turkish descent, who – for years – had been considered 'immune' to the jihadist message

The last point was backed up by an excellent speaker from the Hamburg state office, who provided extensive data on the ethnic affiliations and socio-economic characteristics of Hamburg-based jihadists, as well as Germany's leading expert on Islamist terrorism, Guido Steinberg of the German Institute for Security and International Affairs.

For German policymakers, of course, the 'Turkish factor' is the biggest headache. Muslims of Turkish descent represent the vast majority of the Muslim population in Germany. If jihadism starts spreading among German Turks, Islamist terrorism could become a huge political and social issue in addition to being a security problem.