German Intelligence Chief Warns of The Threat Posed by Radicalized Wives and Children of ISIS Fighters
Much debate has arisen around Europe and North America welcoming back ex-ISIS fighters and their families with open arms. While we’re all wary of returning fighters, the family of these jihadis are almost always labelled victims and put in the ‘not a threat’ box.
However, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency Hans-Georg Massen believes the government is being too lenient.
“There are children who have been brainwashed and highly radicalized at ‘schools’ in IS-held areas. It’s a problem for us because many of these kids and teenagers can sometimes be dangerous,” Maassen told the Deutsche Presse Agentur on Sunday.
Maassen added, “Women who have lived in ISIS areas in recent years are often so radicalized and so identify with the IS ideology that they can justifiably be called jihadists. This does not always mean that they are willing to carry out terrorist attacks. But we also have to keep an eye on these women.”
According to the Soufan Center, 300 out 915 ISIS fighters have returned home to Germany from Syria or Iraq between 2016 and 2017.
The majority of those who have returned home are women and children.
“We haven’t seen any significant flows of male fighters returning home,” Maassen said. “We assume that Westerners still fighting with IS to this day intend to stay there until the very end, and will only then seek to settle in Europe once again.”
The federal police chief Holger Münch believes there are over 700 extremists living in Germany that pose a significant security risk.
“They are saying: ‘You don’t have to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight. You can carry out jihad at home, as well.’ Therefore, many of those who had already packed their suitcases to travel to these jihadi territories decided to stay at home instead,” Maassen told the newspaper.
Former British jihadi cheerleader Tania Georgelas, who dreamed of raising her children to became “assassins or soldiers” for ISIS, was taken in by the USA after fleeing from Syria when she and children became sick. Despite saying she once dreamt of being a suicide bomber, Georgelas is considered a non-threat.