09:13 GMT +315 October 2019
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    Refugees are seen in their temporary housing in a former hardware store in Hamburg, northern Germany.

    Germany to Build Refugee Camp Near Salafist Mosque Under Surveillance

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel Bockwoldt
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    A new refugee facility is being built in the German city of Regensburg and is financed by a private investor. The measure, however, might have dire consequences for the country's security, because the new building will be located only 100 meters from a Salafist mosque observed by the German intelligence services.

    A district where the new camp is being built has a migrant quota of about 90 percent. It has always served as a good example of integration, but everything might change in the context of the new initiative, which was supposed to help refugees, but instead might become a disaster, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

    "I can't believe what's happening here," CSU representative Bernadette Dechant said, cited by the newspaper. "The fact that they build housing for refugee families is good. But not a few hundred meters from a mosque which is under surveillance!" the woman added.

    "It is true that the Al-Rahman Mosque is a platform for Salafi lectures," a spokesman of the secret service confirmed to the newspaper. "In the past, Salafist preachers held their lectures there several times."

    The German authorities have already signed a lease for ten years. In particular, refugee families with children are expected to find temporary accommodation there until their asylum status has been determined.

    The situation, however, may become out of control taking into account previous reports about Salafists and Islamists trying to recruit refugees to their ranks, especially among minors. According to Dechant, many of the city's residents are anxious about the new developments.

    "The residents in our neighborhood have found these developments very worrying," she said. "I believe that the government and the city have acted entirely naive when approving the project and simply overlooked this."

    The asylum application process usually lasts for months, with many refugees unable to find a job without knowledge of the German language and an official work permit.

    "They often don't know a word of German and are prone are very sensitive if someone starts to speak with them in their language," Berlin senior public prosecutor Sjors Kamstra said earlier.


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    Salafists, housing, refugee crisis, Germany
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