Germany says teen planned 'martyrdom operation'

FP Staff April 15, 2016 14:05:23 IST
Germany says teen planned 'martyrdom operation'

Berlin: Prosecutors say a 15-year-old girl who stabbed a police officer is being investigated on suspicion of supporting a terrorist organization.

Safia S., whose surname wasn't given due to privacy rules, was already being held on suspicion of attempted murder and serious bodily harm for attacking the officer with a kitchen knife at Hannover train station on Feb. 26.

Germany says teen planned martyrdom operation

Representational image. Reuters

In a statement on Friday, federal prosecutors said the German-Moroccan teenager "adopted the radical-jihadist ideology" of the Islamic State group from November 2015 onward and had been in online contact with members of the group in Syria.

Prosecutors say she traveled to Istanbul hoping to reach Syria but was brought back by her mother, but while in Turkey members of IS convinced her to carry out a martyrdom operation in Germany.

In 2015, Reuters reported that Germany's domestic intelligence agency (BfV) feared that a growing number of women had gone to Iraq and Syria to fight alongside Islamic State militants.

Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the agency, said that there had been a sharp increase in the number of young women under 25 leaving Germany to join the insurgents.

He said that about 100 of the 700 Germans in combat areas were women and about half of those women were under 25.

"We've seen a rise in the number of women who fall for the increased appeal of the recruiting activities both on the Internet and through direct personal contacts," Maassen said, adding the number of sympathizers in Germany had grown to about 7,500. "The threat is becoming increasingly complex."

With inputs from agencies

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