Germany makes all ISIS propaganda, symbols and activities illegal.

Nunez Report, Reuters

Germany announced a ban on the Islamic State on Friday, saying it aimed to prevent the group from recruiting young jihadists in Germany,Reuters reported.

Coinciding with the launch of a broad U.S. campaign against the Sunni terrorists, which could include air strikes in Syria as well as Iraq, Germany introduced an immediate ban making all IS propaganda, symbols and activities illegal.  

“The terrorist organization Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was quoted as having said, estimating that over 400 Germans have joined IS in Iraq and Syria and about 40 have died, some in suicide attacks.

More than 100 jihadists are back in Germany including “some with combat experience who have learned to hate”, he said, according toReuters.

“We don’t know what they are doing, but it could be that they will carry out attacks,” said De Maiziere, citing the case of a returning French jihadistarrested in connection with an attack on a Jewish museum in Belgium in May.

Islamic State runs aggressive German-language recruitment campaigns on social media “to get young women and men to join the jihad and fight and murder”, the minister said.

But security services alone cannot stop the radicalization of young Muslims, de Maiziere said, urging “parents, siblings, neighbors and friends” to help. He praised the main Muslim community groups for standing up to the “barbaric” organization.

This issue of Islamists from Western countries joining the jihadists in the Middle East has been a concern for the West. Russians, Americans, Canadians and French citizens have been known to be taking part in the fighting in the Middle East, and a concern has been raised that they would bring terrorism to their home countries once they return.

This week, the head of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organization (ASIO) warned of the threat to the country from Islamic extremists and homegrown fighters returning from Syria and Iraq.

Speaking to Australia’s ABC network, director-general David Irvine warned he is considering raising Australia’s terror alert level to high, which indicates an attack on home soil is likely.

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