Original at defence24.pl; translation by J.Hawk
In recent months, at least 29 former Bundeswehr soldiers appear to have joined ISIS and other terrorist organizations in Syria and Iraq. There are concerns that groups of current Bundeswehr soldiers may be Islamist sympathizers.
According to the DP news agency, citing the German Militärischer Abschirmdienst (MAD) counter-intelligence service, ISIS ranks include at least 29 German citizens who have served in the Bundeswehr. MAD’s Christoph Gramm, in an interview with Welt am Sonntag estimated their number at about 20.
German counter-intelligence is conducting investigations of potential terrorist supporters currently undergoing active military service in the Bundeswehr. It is believed this group includes up to 65 active duty soldiers. Some are suspected of falling under the influence of radical Islamist ideology, while others already have extremist views.
Since 2007, MAD carried out 320 investigations of suspected Islamists. They resulted in 17 German soldiers being discharged from service.
Hans-Peter Bartels (SPD), a member of the Bundestag’s Armed Forces Committee, warns of the possibility that terrorist supporters might deliberately infiltrate the military. He underscored that so far there is no evidence of a systemic effort to infiltrate the Bundeswehr by the radical Islamist organizations. Other European countries are suffering from a similar danger.
The Islamists’ purpose is to undergo military training as part of the military, then use the acquired weapons and explosives skills to carry out terrorist strikes. Hans-Peter Bartels noted that while this is not the Bundeswehr’s most pressing current problem, it should not be underestimated either. MAD will henceforth conduct close surveillance for potential radical views among the soldiers. This process will be particularly intensive during the new soldiers’ recruitment process.