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Germany security service says Islamic extremists are trying to recruit newly arrived Syrian refugees

Controversial German Islamist preacher PControversial German Islamist preacher Pierre Vogel (R) and Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, an Islamic scholar during a demonstration on April 20, 2011 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Islamic extremists in Germany are trying to recruit Syrian refugees to their cause, the country’s domestic security service has said.

The warning was issued as one of Germany’s best known Islamist preachers published a list of suggestions on how best to approach refugees.

Pierre Vogel, a former boxer and convert to Islam who has been described as “Germany’s most influential Salafist preacher,” an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam, called on his followers to seek out new recruits at refugee shelters.

The preacher told his followers to take gifts and donations with them, and to volunteer to help staff with the influx. If the offer was refused, they should seek out newly arrived refugees at nearby mosques where they would go to pray, he said. Mr Vogel has publicly denounced violence and terrorism as contrary to Islam, and denies any links to jihadist groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). But in June German police stormed a house where the preacher had been living until recently and arrested a suspected jihadist who was hiding inside.


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