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Concerned about Islamic militants recruiting refugees: German intelligence

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Croatian police officers support an injured man in front of a reception center in Opatovac, Croatia, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Scuffles have broken out between Croatian police and asylum-seekers after they were barred from entering a newly opened reception center meant to register those seeking sanctuary in Europe. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic) Croatian police officers support an injured man in front of a reception center in Opatovac, Croatia, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Scuffles have broken out between Croatian police and asylum-seekers after they were barred from entering a newly opened reception center meant to register those seeking sanctuary in Europe. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency says he is concerned Islamic extremists already in the country might succeed in recruiting newly-arrived refugees to their cause, but he has seen no evidence that extremist groups are attempting to infiltrate Europe by hiding among the wave of newcomers.

Hans-Georg Maassen says that the number of ultraconservative Muslim Salafists in Germany has risen by 400 since June to 7,900.

He says “it gives us great concern that Islamists in Germany are using the situations of the refugees for their own purposes under the guise of providing humanitarian help.”

He added his agency is “observing these activities very closely, because we see a significant potential for radicalization” — specifically among unaccompanied juveniles.

However, Denmark’s Intelligence agency on Tuesday said that it doesn’t believe Islamist militants are taking advantage of the migration flow to sneak in terrorists into the West.

The acting head of Denmark’s Security and Intelligence Service Finn Borch Andersen acknowledged that there could be “people who sympathise with militant Islamism among the refugees”, adding that “it is associated with high risks” for individuals to be spotted during a journey across the European continent.”

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