German intelligence warns of danger of terrorism networks in prisons

BERLIN — On the fifth anniversary of the Berlin terrorist attack, German internal intelligence warned of the continuing threat of terrorism, especially attacks plotted by extremists in prisons.

Thomas Haldenwang, the head of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution — the country’s domestic intelligence service — told German media that for many members of the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization, even in prison, “extremism often does not subside.”

He pointed to the need to know what is happening in prisons, especially those that still contain individuals affiliated with terrorist organizations given the possibility of many of them being released in 2022 after serving their full sentences. Haldenwang noted that, “The Office for the Protection of the Constitution is called to consider each case separately.”

Haldenwang also discussed the possibility of terrorist attacks led by the far-right in Germany, including scenarios such as assassinations or attacks targeting civilians in the street, stressing that “no scenario can be ruled out.”

The German internal intelligence monitored intimidation attempts against “political decision-makers and a tendency to threaten extreme violence on social media, indicating that death threats are directed not only against politicians but also against scientists and doctors as well.”