The return of several alleged supporters of the terrorist militia "Islamic State" to Germany poses major problems for the authorities. As the SPIEGEL learned from security circles, there are no arrest warrants against a family of seven from Lower Saxony or against two wives of IS fighters. As a result, all nine people will enter Germany unmolested on Thursday or Friday - and will not be imprisoned in Germany, as they say in Berlin.
Turkey had surprisingly informed the German government on Monday that it plans to deport nine suspected IS supporters to Germany this week. On Thursday, the seven-headed family of German-Iraqi Kanan B. is expected. Turkey suspects that B., known in Germany as a radical Salafist, wanted to travel from Turkey to Syria in the spring of 2019. For this reason, B. and his family have been in deportation detention in Izmir since March.
On Friday, two women should be deported to Germany, who had been in a Syrian prison camp for IS supporters, fled from there and then were arrested by Turkish soldiers. One of them, 26-year-old Heida R. from Lower Saxony, said he had gone to Syria in 2014 with an IS fighter from Germany. Her husband Kareem was later killed in combat. Heida R. said in a TV interview that she is expecting a prison sentence in Germany.
Investigators do not have enough in hand for a warrant
At first, however, Heida R. remains free just like the other IS supporter in this country. According to security sources, there is a preliminary investigation into the 26-year-old's membership or support for a terrorist organization. Even against Nasim A. from Hesse, which is also scheduled to be deported on Friday, the Attorney General has long been a so-called test procedure. For an arrest warrant, however, the investigators in both cases, not enough in the hand.
Due to the tricky situation, the main fear of the German authorities occurs right at the time of the first deportations. In fact, the investigators do not know whether the two women represent a real threat of terror and how deeply they were involved by their husbands in the structure of the militias. Nevertheless, the idea that they arrive in Germany completely unmolested, both for police officers and the officials in the Federal Interior Ministry is a dreadful.
In addition to the two women, Turkey has two other suspected IS supporters from Germany in custody, and they will soon be deported. According to SPIEGEL information, these are Elina F. from Hamburg and Lisa R. from Rhineland-Palatinate. Even against the two runs at the Attorney General a preliminary investigation - but even against them, the investigators could not obtain any arrest warrants. Consequently, they too could remain free to return.
Observation will not last long
Both the Union and the opposition warn of a security risk for returnees. "We want to see every prisoner in custody," said the CDU domestic politician Armin Schuster on Tuesday in the ARD. This is not easy. According to Schuster, around one-third of Germans still detained in Syria are classified as perilous in Germany. You have to pay special attention to them.
The opposition accused the federal government of not having prepared for the upcoming deportations. "It has pushed the topic in front of him," said FDP faction vice Stephan Thomae on Deutschlandfunk. It is better to have offenders or terrorists in German prisons than anywhere in the Middle East uncontrolled on the run. But other countries, such as France, would have tackled the problem better than Germany.
How the authorities deal with the two suspected IS supporters who return to Germany on Friday, nobody wanted to say exactly before the deportation. Presumably, they will be interviewed after their arrival and monitored if necessary, but such measures are very expensive. Nevertheless, the investigators will want to know whether they make contact with radical circles in Germany. In addition, the two women are already being cared for by special associations, which are to support them in the deradicalization.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government and the federal states are preparing for further cases of IS returnees. In six countries - Bavaria, Berlin, Hesse, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia - "Return Coordinators" are to look after the IS supporters and their children. They should act as an interface between security authorities and other bodies, such as youth welfare offices or counseling services, to ensure that deradicalisation measures are taken. Coordinators' job should also include talking to kindergartens and schools and preparing them for children from the IS area to come to them.