BERLIN: Around 1,000 potential Islamist terrorists live in Germany, 128 of whom could be classed as capable of carrying out attacks, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich was quoted as saying Monday.
“We have almost 1,000 people who could be described as possible terrorists,” he told Bild newspaper, adding that 128 could be considered ‘dangerous” and capable of committing attacks.
He said that around 20 of those had received training in camps associated with terror groups and that these individuals were under surveillance by the country’s security services.
Friedrich added that he thought there was little chance of a repetition of the scale of the terror attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 that brought down the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center.
“We dispose of a wide range of modern security methods and we are investigating at the very heart of extremist networks,” he said.
The Al-Qaeda network, blamed for the New York attacks, has been diminished by the recent death of its leader Osama bin Laden but it still represented a threat, he added.
However, Friedrich estimated that the major danger was posed by individuals acting alone because they are more difficult to identify and track.
He was speaking after the opening in Germany last week of the trial of a 21-year-old man from Kosovo who said he was acting alone under the influence of militant propaganda when he killed two US soldiers who were heading to Afghanistan by way of Germany in March.
In late July, a Christian, Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik had gone on a bloody rampage through Oslo, killing 93 people and blowing up the mayor’s office. He worked along mostly alone, though claims to have been supported by a network.