06:13 GMT21 January 2021
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    Germany's spy agency has warned that Daesh (also known as ISIL) is infiltrating asylum seeker groups to gain access into Europe. It comes as hundreds of German police have launched a series of raids, searching for Daesh recruiters among a Salafist group, calling itself "The True Religion."

    According to German weekly Welt am Sonntag, the country's spy agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has warned that Daesh are training terrorists to infiltrate into groups of asylum seekers migrating into Europe. 

    Welt am Sonntag claims that the BND suggests that Daesh are teaching terrorists on how to answer questions during border interrogations, to try and convince European officials that they are credible asylum seekers. 

    The story has wide-reaching ramifications.

    An ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, November 16, announced that Mrs. Merkel intends to run for a fourth term in the upcoming German elections.

    Norbert Roettgen told reporters:

    "She is absolutely determined, willing, and ready to contribute to strengthen the international liberal order. But we can't see the Chancellor or Germany as last man standing."

    However, the suggestion that asylum seekers attempting to enter Germany may be used as cover for terrorists, has reignited the controversy over Chancellor Merkel's immigration policies.

    ​In September 2016, Merkel accepted responsibility for her Christian Democratic (CDU) party's "bitter defeat" in Berlin state elections.

    In the summer of 2015, she made the decision to allow more than a million migrants into Germany, in an attempt to try and alleviate Europe's mass migration crisis. 

    What was intended as a humanitarian gesture — embodied in her phrase "wir schaffen das" (we can manage it) — has since caused the political fortunes of her party to sour. 

    The centre-right CDU was hit with its worst-ever result in Berlin: a 17.6% share of the vote.

    "If I could, I would turn back time for many, many years, to prepare better," Merkel said.

    The majority of asylum seekers and economic migrants entering Europe are not connected with Daesh, and yet, the rise in far-right nationalist movements have seen their opportunity.

    ​They've painted the migrant crisis as a challenge against European values of freedom of speech and equality for women.

    In September's Berlin election, the right-wing, anti-migrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD), won 14% of the vote, entered the Berlin state parliament for the first time.

    The AfD continue to stoke the fears of terrorism on European shores. However, it is true that European security services are struggling to cope with the increasing number of terror attacks happening on the continent.

    A man walks past a campaign poster of right-populist AfD party reading It's enough - Saxony-Anhalt elects AfD in Magdeburg, Germany.
    © AP Photo / Geir Moulson
    A man walks past a campaign poster of right-populist AfD party reading "It's enough - Saxony-Anhalt elects AfD" in Magdeburg, Germany.

    In November, France marked the one year anniversary of the 13th November 2015 Paris attacks, in which Daesh militants killed 130 people.

    On Tuesday, November 15, German police stepped up their fight to try and stop Daesh from committing further atrocities, in Germany.

    In coordinated raids in ten of the country's 16 states, armed police stormed 200 apartments and offices belonging to organizers of a Salafist group, called "The True Religion." They allegedly support Daesh and help radicalize and recruit for the terror group.

    ​German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said "The True Religion" had persuaded around 140 people to join militants in Iraq and Syria.

    ​Germany continues to support the European Union's principle of freedom of movement around the bloc. However, the EU has recognized that it needs to do more to reassure members over border security.

    In October 2016, it launched a new agency charged with the EU's border defense. It hopes that the European Border and Coast Guard will result in better security and monitoring of suspected criminals and terrorists, preventing them from being able to enter the EU in the first place.

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    Tags:
    radicalization, terror threat, anti-immigration protests, terrorism, infiltration, asylum seekers, refugees, intelligence, migrant crisis, November 13, 2015 Paris terrorist attacks, Alternative for Germany (AfD), German Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Daesh, Angela Merkel, Middle East, Europe, Germany
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