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RadicalizationGermany considering spying on children suspected of radicalization

Published 14 June 2017

Germany is debating the question of whether the country’s intelligence and law-enforcement agencies should out under surveillance minors radicalized by extremist Muslim clerics. The law currently bars the country’s intelligence agencies to save any data on anyone under the age of 18 when the data was collected. Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann said it is “divorced from reality” to argue that investigators should look the other way when they learn about a radicalized minor.

Germany is debating the question of whether the country’s intelligence and law-enforcement agencies should out under surveillance minors radicalized by extremist Muslim clerics.

Merkur reports that Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Herrmann defended the proposed change to the law at a meeting of state and federal interior ministers in Dresden.

“It would only be possible in extremely exceptional cases,” said the Christian Social Union (CSU) politician. He highlighted several cases in which minors had been brainwashed into carrying out violence, or had radicalized themselves in recent years.

The law currently bars the country’s intelligence agencies to save any data on anyone under the age of 18 when the data was collected.

Herrmann said it is “divorced from reality” to argue that investigators should look the other way when they learn about a radicalized minor.

Roger Lewentz, the Social Democrat interior minister in Rhineland-Palatinate, described the Bavarian proposal as “unthinkable.”

That we would send the intelligence agencies to spy on juveniles — that isn’t going to happen,” Lewentz said.

That is not only not possible, but it goes against everything we stand for politically.”

The Local reports that there have been several cases in recent years of radicalized minors attempting commit violent crimes.

Earlier in June, 18-year-old Saleh S. was sentenced to eight years in youth detention after he attempted to set fire to a shopping center in Hanover in 2016.

Saleh S. was 17 at the time of the crime, and admitted to the court that he wanted to kill as many people as possible. No one was injured or killed in the incident.

Saleh S. is the older brother of 16-year-old Safia S., who was convicted of attempted murder in January and sentenced to six years in jail.

The teenage girl stabbed and severely wounded a 34-year-old police officer – she said it was on orders by ISIS, though the terrorist group did not claim the attack.

In April, a Syrian teenager was convicted of planning a bomb attack on behalf of the Isis terror group and sentenced to two years’ juvenile detention.