German domestic intelligence seeks additional powers to combat terrorism: Intelligence chief

Hans-Georg Maassen, Germany’s director of domestic intelligence, said his intelligence agency should be given more resources to fight threats from militant Islamists and right-wing extremists. He was speaking in a symposium on the growing threat of terror attacks in Germany.

Maassen told Monday’s symposium that “a worsening security situation needed corresponding adjustments” in the powers and resources the security agencies are given. He suggested, among other things, tighter supervision of conduct for convicted Islamists and the introduction of electronic tagging.

ABC News reports that Massen criticized a recent ruling by Germany’s highest court which used arguments based on privacy concerns to revoke some anti-terror powers accorded to the authorities under a 2009 law.

Maassen said the decision ignored the new dangers posed by ISIS, telling the some 300 security experts at the Monday meeting that the extremists were planning to carry out terrorist attacks both on German soil and against German interests abroad.

He said that German intelligence agencies received tip-offs about terrorist plots on a daily basis, warning that radical Islamists were “the most dynamically growing extremist scene in Germany.”

He said that the growing terrorist threats required better cross-border exchange of information within Europe.

He also noted the risk posed by ISIS fighters who entered Germany disguised as refugees, saying such infiltration should be taken more into account in security planning and strategy. He said he was concerned about what he called a “security deficit” created by the large number of migrants without valid passports and whose identity had not been certainly established.

Maassen also called on the German intelligence community to focus n the threat posed by right-wing organizations that have been carrying out attacks on refugee shelters in Germany on an almost weekly basis.

He said the political climate in Germany was “a lot rougher” than it used to be, as former non-voters and disaffected supporters of the established parties become radicalized against the backdrop of the refugee crisis.

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