German Army IDs 22 soldiers fighting with ISIS in Syria, Iraq

An internal German Army report released Monday reveals that 22 soldiers have joined ISIS in Syria or Iraq in recent years, while 65 active soldiers are under investigation on suspicion of having Islamist sympathies, The Local reported.

MAD, the army's military counter-intelligence service, identified the 22 soldiers and has relieved 17 from their duties, the report said.

“Just like other fighting forces, the Bundeswehr (German Army) can be attractive for Islamists who want to acquire weapons training,” Hans-Peter Bartels, the Social Democratic Party MP in charge of oversight of the army, told the website. “But it represents a real danger that we have to take seriously.”

The International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague (ICCT) published a study this month saying that between 720 and 760 Germans are believed to have traveled out of the country to join ISIS.

Hans-Georg Maassen told Welt am Sonntag, a German newspaper, that ISIS wanted to carry out attacks against German interests. He said the country  has avoided attacks thus far due to increased security and, at times, luck. He pointed out that on one or two occasions, a bomb detonator did not work properly.

“At the moment we don’t have any knowledge of any concrete terrorist attack plans in Germany,” he told Reuters.