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Germany deports 'potential terrorists'

December 7, 2019

Since 2016, Germany has deported a number of people suspected of being willing or capable of carrying out terrorist attacks. The government figures were released in response to a parliamentary inquiry.

People walking at a Christmas market in Germany (27.11.17, Imago/epd/C. Ditsch)
Image: Imago/epd/C. Ditsch

Germany has deported 90 "Gefährder" and other "relevant persons" since the 2016 attack on a Berlin Christmas market, according to German newsmagazine Der Spiegel, which cited a government response to a parliamentary inquiry on Friday. 

In Germany a "Gefährder" (lit. "endangerer") is someone who could pose a threat to public safety as certain "facts justify the assumption that he or she may commit a severe crime."

Read more: Are deportations from Germany on the rise?

Such individuals are often identified by German intelligence authorities as potential terror suspects and a threat to public safety.

In response to the inquiry by the business-friendly Free Democrats (FDP), officials said that 40% of the people deported were from Syria, while others held Iraqi, Turkish or Russian citizenship.

The federal government currently has 225 "suspects" under examination by authorities, who may face deportation or other legal consequences. 

In February 2018, at the request of the far-right Alternative for Germany party, the federal government reported that there were 745 people in Germany who could be potential terrorists connected to the "Islamic State" group.

Read more: Germany: Don't panic over 'Islamic State' returnees' arrival

'Urgent' need for federal authority

Stephan Thomae, the FDP's expert on domestic affairs, argued that deportation figures appear to be dependent on "which federal state is responsible and who is currently in power." Therefore, Germany "urgently needs a federal authority for deportations and effective agreements with the countries of origin," Thomae told Der Spiegel.

The number of deportations differed significantly across German states. North Rhine-Westphalia had a total of 29 deportations, Baden-Württemberg had 16 and Berlin 10. Meanwhile, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland had no statistics available. 

mvb/dr (AFP, dpa)

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