The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency has warned against underestimating the threat posed by "Islamic State" despite the militant group’s apparent defeat in Syria and northern Iraq.
In an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, Thomas Haldenwang, the head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) — Germany’s domestic intelligence agency — warned against an increasing threat posed by the return of "Islamic State" (IS) jihadis from Syria and northern Iraq.
Haldenwang said that the number of radical Islamists in Germany rose to 2,240 in 2018.
"I can't give an all-clear on IS," Haldenwang said. "It can launch an attack in Germany anytime," he added.
The BfV president said that IS still exists with a focus on the "virtual cyber caliphate" that can still attract collaborators for attacks.
Haldenwang, however, admitted that it's not possible for authorities to monitor all terror suspects. "We’ll need at least 4 people to monitor one such person. We're only focusing on those who could be extremely dangerous."
Haldenwang also stressed that Germany had to "pay more attention to far-right extremism."