German intelligence chief warns of security threat by wives, children of ISIS fighters

The wives and children of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters returning to Germany may pose a security threat, news agency DPA reported, citing the head of the country’s domestic intelligence agency.

Hans-Georg Maassen, in charge of the so-called Verfassungsschutz (Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), said that the large-scale loss of territory by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq had led to the return of some of their families to Germany.

“There are children who were subjected to brainwashing at ‘schools’ in IS territory that have been strongly radicalized,” Maassen said. “For us, this represents a problem because these children can be dangerous.”

He added that the wives of jihadists are often similarly radicalized.

Of the 950 people who had left Germany for Syria and Iraq to fight on behalf of Islamic State in recent years, roughly a third had returned, while many were believed to have died.

Germany is obliged to grant entry to those who hold German citizenship, according to dpa.