Islamists and neo-Nazis 'more prepared for violence'
Both far-right extremists and Islamist radicals are growing in numbers according to two separate media reports on Monday.
The number of people on the far right “inclined to violence” rose by over 1,000 to 11,500 security sources told Berlin daily Tagesspiegel.
This rise has been accompanied by greater cooperation between neo-Nazis and anti-Islamic hooligans, and a rise in the number of far right politically motivated crimes, Verfassungschutz (internal security) sources told the newspaper.
As has been previously reported, from January until November 2015, 2,915 politically motivated far-right crimes were committed nationwide, of which 846 were violent.
The numbers until November were 40 percent higher than in the whole of 2014.
Neo-Nazi party “Die Rechte” increased their membership by around 100 up to 600 over the course of the twelve months.
Another far-right party, Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way), saw an increase of 50 percent in its membership, pushing it up to 300 signed-up supporters.
The rise in popularity of the far-right is widely seen as a consequence of the large number of refugees arriving in Germany, with much of their violence directed against refugees and asylum shelters.
Berlin ‘a Salafist stronghold’
Meanwhile the number of Islamists prepared to commit violence in Berlin has sharply increased, the Berliner Morgenpost reported, also on information from security sources.
There are now around 680 Salafists in the capital, 360 of whom are considered potentially violent, sources from the Verfassungsschutz told the Berlin daily.
Five years ago Berlin spies had only identified 350 Salafists in the city, 100 of whom were considered dangerous.
Around 100 Islamists from Berlin are said to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for jihadi militias there.
The best-known is Kreuzberg rapper Denis Cuspert - aka Deso Dogg - who converted to fundamentalist Islam, travelled to Syria to propagandize for Isis, and was killed in a US airstrike in October 2015.
Eleven other such "foreign fighters" are reported to have died in the Middle Eastern war zone.
With roughly one in every seven German jihadis who travel to Syria coming from Berlin, Dilek Kolat, integration minister in the capital, described the city as a “stronghold for Salafists.”
“Berlin remains in comparison with the rest of the country one of the hotspots for Salafists,” Bernd Palenda, head of the Vefassungsschutz in Berlin said.
“Prevention and de-radicalisation programmes remain important,” he added.