Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar are supporting extremist Islamic groups in Germany, according to a leaked intelligence report.
A brief seen by the Süddeutsche Zeitung and broadcasters NDR and WDR raised concern over a reported increase in support for fundamentalist Salafism in Germany, warning that the ideology already has 10,000 followers and is growing.
The report, by Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency and Federal Intelligence Service (BND) reportedly accused Gulf groups of funding mosques, religious schools, hardline preachers and conversion or “dawah” groups to spread the ideology.
Missionary movements were part of a “long-running strategy to exert influence” by the three states, it found, naming the Saudi Muslim World League, Sheikh Eid Bin Mohammad al-Thani Charitable Association and Kuwaiti Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which has been banned by the US and Russia for allegedly supporting al-Qaeda.
The report said all three organisations were “closely connected with government offices in their home countries”.
The BND and BfV have not confirmed the accuracy of leaked excerpts but sources told Deutsche Welle that some members of the security community believe it was internally leaked to pressure the German government into stopping controversial arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
The country’s ambassador to Germany, Awwas Alawwad, rejected accusations of supporting Salafism, saying his government does not build mosques or export imams and has “no connection with German Salafism”.
He added that the Muslim World League was not a Saudi government organisation and discontinued activities in Germany in 2013. Read full in Independent