About 11 thousand followers of an ultra-conservative sub-sect of Islam, including many who have been flagged as potential jihadists, live in Germany now. The most rapid growth of Salafism has been registered in the nation's most populous cities: Berlin and Hamburg.
The number of Salafists residing in Germany continues to grow, according to a report published by the German newspaper Tagesspiegel, which cited regional security statistics. While in 2013 it was reported that about 5,500 radical Islamists in Germany, by the first quarter of this year this number had grown to 11,000. This number has increased steadily; the head of the Service for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV)Hans-Georg Maassen told the press last December that Germany had witnessed a record-high 10 800 followers of this radical branch of Islam.
Germany's largest cities, Berlin and Hamburg, had a big share in the overall number of Salafists among the country's 'lander' or states, and radical Islam has become very popular there. Of the 798 Salafists living in Hamburg, 434 have been classified by the security services as jihadists or potentially violent.
The states in the former Eastern Germany have also seen higher figures, as the interior minister of Brandenburg reports about 100 Salafists in 2018, compared with 20 radicals in 2016.
However, some regions compared favorably with the nationwide tendency; the most populated Germany state, North Rhine-Westphalia, while home to 3,000 Salafists, hasn't seen their number grow since 2017.
Salafism is an ultra-conservative branch of Sunni Islam which has been adopted by Daesh as an ideology.