04:02 GMT +322 October 2019
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    Armed police stand guard as others search a van at the scene in the Karl-Elsasser Street in Berlin's southern suburb of Britz on November 26, 2015. German police detained two suspects in a series of raids targeting Islamists in Berlin and said they were examining a suspicious object

    Over 400 German Islamists Are Ready to Attack 'At Any Moment'

    © AFP 2019 / JOHN MACDOUGALL
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    Around 430 violent jihadists are ready to launch attacks in Germany at any moment, according to the head of the country's internal security agency.

    Germany has over 1,100 violent Islamists, of whom 430 are considered so dangerous that they could attack at any moment, the head of Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Hans-Georg Maassen, said in an interview with MDR television.

    The number appears to be an estimate of people tracked by the BfV and considered violently dangerous. The BfV head noted that the number of Salafists, a term for Islamic fundamentalists with jihadi aims, has risen rapidly in Germany amid the refugee crisis.

    "There are currently around 8,350 Salafists in Germany. The number has risen rapidly in recent months. At the end of September, the number was 7,900," Maassen said.

    Maassen added that he wants refugees arriving in the country to act as informants on potential terrorists, saying that tip-offs do not mean "denunciation." The BfV has relied on informants to go after far-right extremists and potential jihadists, according to the official.

    According to Maassen, Germany has long been a focus of Daesh (also known as ISIL/ISIS) and al-Qaeda terrorist groups.

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