The German federal police agency, the Bundeskriminalamt (BKA), said it is investigating the possible arrival of forty Islamist militants among more than 1.1 million refugees who have entered the country during since the beginning of 2015.
The BKA said it had received 369 reports of possible extremists and found that forty of the cases required more investigation.
This is an increase relative to numbers the BKA released in January, when eighteen investigations were found to be warranted after 213 warnings had been received.
“German security officials have indications that members and supporters of terrorist organizations are being smuggled in with refugees in a targeted, organized way in order to launch attacks in Germany,” a spokesperson for the BKA said.
“More attacks by Islamist terror cells cannot be ruled out.”
The Globe and Mail reports that several of the terrorists who carried out the November 2015 Paris had passed through Germany on their return from Syria, travelling on fake documents.
French investigators say that two more jihadists were supposed to join the terrorists but were prevented from reaching Paris after being detained for questioning at a refugee center in Austria.
Salah Abdeslam, who is now in French custody, picked up one of terrorists in the southern German city of Ulm in October last year. He drove to Ulm with Osama Krayem, who faces charges in Brussels for his involvement in both the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Several suspected Islamists have been arrested in Germany since the Paris and Brussels attacks.
Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (BfV), said ISIS was attempting to “send a political signal” by using the refugee route to stoke fears and mistrust in Europe.
“I am not telling you a secret when I say that I am concerned about the high number of migrants whose identities we don’t know because they had no papers when they entered the country,” he said.
The number of refugees entering Germany peaked at more than 10,000 a day last autumn, but has since dwindled to a trickle as a result of the closing of the Greek border with Macedonia and a deal between the EU and Turkey.
Some 800 Germans are believed to have joined ISIS as foreign fighters.