(GPA) Berlin – Parts of a German intelligence report have been leaked to several media outlets showing the connection between Saudi Arabia and other gulf states and radical Islamist mosques in Europe.
The report was compiled by the German BfV, a domestic intelligence agency, under the umbrella of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Segments of the report were allegedly leaked to several German media outlets including Süddeutsche Zeitung as well as the broadcast networks NDR and WDR.
The report shows how the gulf states have been funding radical salafist imams, mosques and Koranic schools across the Islamic community in Germany. According to the intelligence agency, the radical strain of Islamism has grown to about 10,000 members over the past few years. Funding has also gone to missionary or “dawah” groups that seek to radicalize incoming refugees from the Middle East or who already reside in Germany.
The report named three groups behind this “strategy to exert influence.” The groups behind the funding included the “Saudi Muslim World League, Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and [the] Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS).” The RIHS has already been banned in countries like the US and Russia for alleged ties to al Qaeda. These aren’t just charitable organizations according to the BfV who says they are “closely connected with government offices in their home countries.”
The leak of this report comes just a few weeks after German officials raided then banned the Islamist group Die Wahre Religion (DWR) for alleged connections to 140 members of the Islamic State. Although the BfV said there are no clear connections between these groups and “violent Salafist structures and networks,” Germany probably can’t be too careful, especially considering that several hundred Germans have left the country to fight in jihadist groups Iraq and Syria.
These groups shouldn’t reflect poorly on all Muslims but more on the countries that fund them. These salafist organizations prey on the weakest members of society and encourage radicalization, primarily by distributing copies of the Koran with radical translations. If anything this is more of the same from the gulf states in their effort to pervert Islam and peddle their influence across Europe. Wahhabism however, is a radical interpretation of Islam and is what’s responsible for a lot of the destruction in the Middle East. Just as the gulf kingdoms should no longer have undue influence of their own region, they should have no influence over what Islam in Europe is.