The following is a chronological survey of some of the main stories about Islam and Islamism in Germany during the second half of 2017. Part 1 of this series can be found here.
July 4. Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency warned that Salafism is the “fastest-growing Islamic movement in Germany.” Its annual report revealed that the number of Salafists in Germany jumped to 9,700 in 2016, up from 8,350 in 2015; 7,000 in 2014; 5,500 in 2013; 4,500 in 2012; and 3,800 in 2011. BfV President Hans-Georg Maaßen said that Germany should brace for further jihadist attacks given growing numbers of potential Islamist militants: “We must expect further attacks by individuals or terror groups. Islamist terrorism is the biggest challenge facing the BfV and we see it as one of the biggest threats facing the internal security of Germany.”
July 5. Saleh A., Mahood B. and Hamza C., appeared in court on charges of plotting suicide bombings in Düsseldorf’s historic old town. The attack, using explosive vests, was to be financed with money extorted from the Vatican.
July 8. A hundred Islamists are now openly enforcing Sharia law on the streets of Berlin, according to local police. The self-appointed morality police involve Salafists from Chechnya, a predominantly Sunni Muslim region in Russia. The vigilantes are using threats of violence to discourage Chechen migrants from integrating into German society; they are also promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in Germany. German authorities appear unable to stop them.