Germany expects return of over 100 children of Islamist fighters

Children of returning Islamists could pose threat after being “socialised and indoctrinated in the battlefield areas"

Image Credits: Leon Neal/Getty Images.

German security officials are preparing for the arrival of over 100 infants and children of people who left the country to fight for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, amid concerns about the radicalization of minors.

Nearly a thousand people are believed to have left Germany to join up with the Islamist militants. As the group’s presence in the Middle East crumbles, some are returning with family members, while German authorities are trying to secure the release of children whose parents have been detained.

In a document addressed to a lawmaker and seen by Reuters on Monday, Interior Ministry State Secretary Emily Haber said it was difficult to estimate the exact number of children set to arrive since it was unclear how many babies were born while their parents were in Iraq or Syria.

But security officials had information indicating that “a low three-digit number of minors is expected,” with the majority believed to be babies or toddlers, Haber said in a reply to a formal parliamentary query by Greens lawmaker Irene Mihalic.

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