Germany to bring back IS fighters' children — report
Rebecca Staudenmaier with dpa, epd
November 23, 2017
The German government wants to bring back the children of German IS members who fought in Syria, according to a report. At least six children — including babies — are currently in detention centers in Iraq.
Diplomats with Germany's Foreign Ministry requested exit permits from the Iraqi government for the children of detained German citizens who are members of the self-styled "Islamic State" (IS) group, a newspaper report published on Thursday stated.
At least six children are currently with their mothers in interrogation or detention centers in Iraq, according to information gathered by German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung and public broadcasters NDR and WDR.
The Foreign Ministry justified the decision to bring the children home by citing humanitarian considerations and Germany's duty to protect its citizens. They also argued that the children would be better cared for by their relatives in Germany than in the detention centers.
The ministry also discussed possible security concerns should the children be repatriated.
Security agencies were not concerned about the babies or very young children as they are traumatized but not radicalized, the Süddeutsche report said. However, they do have concern regarding the older children.
Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, has said that the children of IS fighters who return pose a possible danger to German society as they have been "socialized and accordingly indoctrinated" in Islamist ideologies.
"This could create a new generation of jihadists here," Süddeutsche Zeitung quotes Maassen as saying.