Salafism -- from salaf, "ancestors" or "predecessors" in Arabic -- urges the emulation of the first three generations of the Islamic prophet Mohammad's companions, and Mohammad himself. It is often deemed the most fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.
Security agencies in Germany claim that 9,200 such Islamic extremists currently call the country home. Another intelligence briefing cited by Süddeutsche Zeitung, warns that "the ideology already has 10,000 followers" and growing, in the country.
"Almost all of the German nationals who have travelled to Syria to fight for Islamic State became radicalized by Salafis, who target low-income Muslim youths in German cities," wrote the Los Angeles Times, adding that it is proving increasingly challenging for German intelligence officials, "to differentiate between those who identify intellectually with Salafism and those who espouse using violence to realize a radical version of Islam."
Both Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) and Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) "have accused Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of funding religious groups and conversion groups, as well as financing the building of mosques and backing hardline imams," according to the Daily Express.
Following raids of their offices throughout Germany the activist group Die Wahre Religion ("The True Religion") has already been banned in the country.
According to the German interior minister, Thomas de Mazière, "translations of the Quran are being distributed along with messages of hatred and unconstitutional ideologies ... Teenagers are being radicalised with conspiracy theories."
A radicalized 12-year old Muslim boy was recently arrested in the country; he was accused of planting bombs aimed at targeting shoppers in Germany's famous Christmas markets.
Police raided 190 locations nationwide, affiliated with Die Wahre Religion; authorities described the group as a "collecting pool" for jihadists, which had already sent at least 140 fighters to foreign battlefields.
850 people are thought to have journeyed, "from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join extremist groups like the Islamic State as fighters," according to the Associated Press.
In a warehouse near the western city of Cologne, authorities seized about 21,000 German-language copies of the Quran. The ban came a week after security authorities arrested five men who allegedly aided the Islamic State group in Germany by recruiting members and providing financial and logistical help.
The German interior minister stressed that the ban does not restrict the freedom of religion in Germany or the peaceful practice of Islam in any way. However, he said the group had glorified terrorism and the fight against the German constitution in videos and meetings.
Terrorism is naturally an abiding concern in Germany, yet recent comments by Wolfgang Trusheim, of Frankfurt's State Security office, point to where much of the Salafist influence is being focused, namely, the minds of the young:
This is about war, about children being indoctrinated, they are only in primary school and already fantasize about how when they grow up, they want to join the jihad, kill infidels. They refuse to play football with infidels, they say: "I'm not allowed to play football with you, but when I'm grown up, I will kill you, because you are an infidel."
As cited by a recent TV report by Hessischer Rundfunk:
There were instances of radical Salafist parents, who are willing to teach their children the hatred of believers of a different creed by any means. A father who puts his children in front of the TV, they are forced to watch the most cruel decapitation videos, and will be questioned, and just as they have learned, they reply that the human who has just been burnt alive or decapitated, deserves it because he is an infidel.
Salafists, according to the New York Times, "are known for aggressive proselytizing and their sympathies for the Islamic State." Much of the recent crackdown by German government agencies is aimed at preventing such extremists from targeting the country's swelling "refugee" population.
Germany is already experience a boom in births as a product of its "unmanageable" population influx.
"Something must be done immediately. We cannot wait any longer," says Michael Kiefer, an Islamic Studies specialist at the government-sponsored Institute for Islamic Theology at the University of Osnabrück, about the growth of Salafism in Germany.
Such warnings, quoted in an analysis by Gatestone Institute as far back as 2014, evidently fell on deaf ears. The following year, Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, permitted over 1.5 million Muslim migrants to swell her nation's Islamic population still further.
According to Dr. Bernd Baumann, a representative of the populist Alternative for Germany party (AfD) from Hamburg, with Germany representing less than 1% of the world's population, in the year 2016, the European nation had accepted more "refugee" applications than the rest of the world combined:
Public Islamist recruitment drives, however, are becoming an increasingly common sight on German streets, as Die Zeit reported on November 28.
The Daily Express reported on December 15, 2016:
"The Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), a non-governmental organization (NGO) banned by the U.S. and Russia for alleged links to terrorist group Al-Qaeda, has also been blamed for the rising support for fundamentalist Salafi groups in Germany."
Missionary groups from the Gulf States, including the Saudi Muslim World League, and Qatar's Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association, are allegedly involved in a "long-running strategy to exert influence" on Muslims in Germany.
RIHS and the Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association have denied the allegations. The Saudi ambassador to Germany, Awwas Alawwad, also rejected the intelligence claims, saying his country has "no connection with German Salafism."
Despite such denials, Chancellor Angela Merkel, "has confirmed plans rapidly to expand the scope and size of Germany's intelligence services including its domestic spy agency."
As the German MP and Middle East expert, Rolf Mützenich, has said, "The danger is real and should not be underestimated." He added:
"For quite some time, we have had indications and evidence that German Salafists are getting assistance, which is approved by the governments of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, in the form of money, the sending of imams and the building of Koran schools and mosques.
"The best way of preventing refugees from being radicalised is speedy and successful integration. To achieve that, we need professional prevention and de-radicalisation programs. That means more money and resources for specialists in schools, government administration, police, youth welfare organisations, prisons and reform schools."
Critics might argue that that there is enormous pressure in Muslims not to assimilate. The injunction begins with the Koran:
O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. (Q5:51, Sahih International translation)
Let not the believers take the unbelievers for friends rather than believers; and whoever does this, he shall have nothing of (the guardianship of) Allah, but you should guard yourselves against them, guarding carefully; and Allah makes you cautious of (retribution from) Himself; and to Allah is the eventual coming. (Q3:28, Shakir translation)
Declining to assimilate in the West continues with the apparent, religiously mandated, preference to have the host countries become Islamic.
With Islamist double-agents working for German intelligence services now being arrested in the country, Germany's security challenges clearly go far deeper.
George Igler, between 2010 and 2016, aided those facing death across Europe for criticizing Islam.