09:17 GMT +316 October 2018
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    The new German electronic passport is presented during an official press conference on February 23, 2017 in Berlin

    'Primary Goal': Berlin Mulls Depriving Jihadists of German Passports

    © AFP 2018 / John MACDOUGALL
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    The considerations come amid a steadily growing number of radical Islamists residing in Germany who are considered to pose a serious threat to the country's security.

    Berlin plans to deprive jihadists of German IDs, State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, Stephan Mayer, said in an interview with DerWesten.de.

    According to the official, the country's authorities want to withdraw German citizenship from those jihadists who have citizenship of another country.

    This is a "primary goal" and a corresponding bill is expected to be introduced "in the government's first year," Mayer said.

    In addition, Germany's interior minister, Horst Seehofer, intends to expand the list of the so called "safe countries of origin," a measure that is supposed to make the processing of asylum applications from these countries (e.g. Georgia, Armenia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) quicker and more efficient.

    READ MORE: Number of Salafists Doubles in Germany in Five Years — Report

    Horst Seehofer, who represents the Bavarian partner party of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, the Christian Social Union, has recently been in the spotlight for his strong position on the migrant issue.

    In an interview with German newspaper Das Bild, he said that "Islam doesn't belong to Germany," triggering fierce debate in the country, currently dealing with a mass influx of asylum seekers.

    Such sentiments in Germany have primarily been triggered by security concerns amid the growing number of radical Islamists residing on German soil.

    According to reports, the number of Salafists living in Germany continues to grow. While in 2013 it was reported that about 5,500 radical Islamists were living in Germany, by the first quarter of this year, this number had grown to 11,000.

    Salafism is an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam which has been adopted by the Daesh terrorist group as their ideology. The belief system rejects modern Western values and advocates a return to the "original ways of Islam." Some of these beliefs underscore the basis for Salafi jihadism.

    Related:

    Germany's Salafist Surge: Islamists Double in 6 Years to Reach 10,000 Followers
    Over 50 Potentially Dangerous Islamists Remain in Germany – Reports
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    jihadists, citizenship, passport, Islamist, withdrawal, Germany
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