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Salafist Jihadism in Germany

During the past decade the overall situation of Islamist-terrorist activity in Germany has profoundly changed. While until 9/11Germanyhas served mainly as a logistical base and refuge for militant Islamists it has now become a target for attacks itself.[2] This fact can be attributed to two main factors: the rapidly growing Salafist network in Germany and the military engagement of Germany in Afghanistan. Since 2000 at least nine plans for attacks on German soil have been registered[3] and about 350 legal proceedings related to Islamist-terrorist offenses are currently under way.[4]

In recent years Germanyhas seen a growing number in cases of radicalized German Muslims willing to take up arms. Those Jihadists are German citizens of Turkish, Arab and German origin. They are overwhelmingly not foreign born immigrants.

This paper frequently uses the terms ”Islamism,” ”Salafism” and ”Jihadism”. In common usage terms like ”Islamic fundamentalism”, ”political Islam“ or ”Islamism” are often applied interchangeably without giving account to the semantic differences. The history of labels for Islamic movements and their protagonists has been written in some detail and shall not be repeated here.[5] But certain terms deserve an explanation, as they are vital for understanding the issue at large.

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