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Security services record Islamist exodus to Egypt

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Police block access to the 'Millatu Ibrahim Mosque' in Solingen. Photo: DPA
10:53 CEST+02:00
German security services have recorded a leap in the number of radical Islamists traveling to Egypt, according to a report due to be published in Monday's Der Spiegel magazine.

Radical Salafists considered violent by Germany’s security services have been leaving Germany in droves in the past weeks, wrote the magazine. But rather than traveling to the conflict zone in Pakistan and Afghanistan, they are increasingly heading for Egypt, a high ranking security official told Der Spiegel.

The Islamists are believed to be following in the footsteps of the Austrian hate-speech cleric Mohamed Mahmoud, 27, the leader of the Millatu Ibrahim network banned by authorities in June. Mahmoud left Germany in the spring, preempting his impending expulsion, wrote the magazine.

Security officials told the magazine they had intercepted communications suggesting that many Salafists feel oppressed in Germany following the Millatu Ibrahim ban and the subsequent police raids.

In Egypt they are hoping to live “the true Islam” or fight in a “Jihad against infidels,” wrote the magazine. Among those 20 followers of Mahmoud who have already left is Berliner ex-gangster rapper and convert to Islam Denis Cuspert, who performed under the artist name Deso Dogg. 30 further Islamists are “sitting on their suitcases,” the official told the magazine.

Officials are concerned that terror organisations such as Al-Qaeda are planning to exploit the power vacuum in Egypt following the Arab Spring to build up their own structures there, wrote the magazine.

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