German intelligence monitoring a dozen battle-hardened jihadis back from Syria

German security services are monitoring about a dozen Islamic extremists who have returned from fighting in Syria and are considered potential terror threats.

The figure was released Wednesday by the head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency.

Hans-Georg Maassen said about 300 Islamic extremists have left Germany for Syria since the start of the uprising against the government of President Bashar Assad almost three year ago.

Security officials estimate that more than half may have taken part in fighting and some 20 German jihadists have died in Syria.