October 19, 2017 / 6:29 PM / 2 years ago

Germany says worried about new generation of Islamic State recruits

FILE PHOTO - Hans-Georg Maassen, head of the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz) addresses a news conference to introduce the agency's 2016 report on militant threats to the constitution in Berlin, Germany, July 4, 2017. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany’s domestic intelligence agency said on Thursday that minors returning from war zones in Syria and Iraq could grow into a new generation of recruits in Germany for the Islamic State group.

More than 950 people from Germany went to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, some 20 percent of them women and 5 percent minors, the BfV domestic intelligence agency said.

With Islamic State losing territory in Syria and Iraq, many of the women are expected to return with their children. Germany needs to prepare for the risk of the children being radicalised, BfV chief Hans-Georg Maassen said.

“We see the danger of children who socialized with and were indoctrinated by jihadists returning to Germany from the war zones,” said Maassen. “This could allow a new generation of jihadists to be raised here.”

Last year, a 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy failed in an attempt to detonate two explosive devices in the western town of Ludwigshafen.

Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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