Saudi Arabia and some other Arab states in Persian Gulf are suspected of backing German Salafists [radical Muslims] with their governments’ approval, German Intelligence officials say.
According to a report by IFP, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have increasingly been providing support to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, German media said, citing Germany’s foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.
Religious organizations from those three countries have been sending preachers to Germany as well as financing the construction of mosques and schools, the German “Süddeutsche Zeitung” newspaper and public service broadcasters NDR and WDR reported. The intelligence reports were conducted on the behalf of the German government.
By upping their support of Salafist missionary activities, the religious groups intend to spread the ultraconservative version of Islam in Germany, the intelligence reports said.
There are currently 9,200 people involved in the Salafist scene in Germany, but the government has concerns that the increased missionary work could swell their ranks. Berlin is also concerned that the groups could play a role in radicalizing Sunni refugees.
The German government has repeatedly called on the Saudi government to stop supporting radical Islamists in Germany. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, has said its religious organizations are a “stronghold” against the ISIS terrorist group.
Although Riyadh insists that the religious organizations are independent, Germany’s intelligence agencies concluded that the groups “are closely linked with state posts in their countries of origin.”
The intelligence reports also specifically named three religious organizations active in Germany that are believed to be supported by the state: the “Shaykh Eid Charity Foundation” from Qatar, the “Muslim World League” from Saudi Arabia and the “Revival of Islamic Heritage Society” (RIHS) from Kuwait.
In the case of RIHS, German domestic intelligence officials found that there was “essentially no difference” between its missionary work and the spreading of Takfiri [extremist] ideology, DW reported.
Since 2012, the group has used a real estate firm to influence the Islamist scene in Germany, the media reports said.