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17 ISIS Militants Posed as Refugees to Reach Europe: German Official

by Andy Eckardt /
Police patrol in the old town of Duesseldorf, Germany, amid heightened security on June 2.MAJA HITIJ / EPA

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MAINZ, Germany — At least 17 ISIS militants have arrived in Europe concealed as refugees, according to Germany’s domestic intelligence service.

Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of the BfV agency, said in an interview with the daily FAZ newspaper over the weekend that “most of them are already in prison or dead."

 Police patrol in the old town of Duesseldorf, Germany, amid heightened security on June 2. MAJA HITIJ / EPA

The total includes two suspects who died in the Paris terror attacks, according to the report.

Last year, Germany alone welcomed more than 1.1 million migrants, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan.

In an interview with NBC News earlier this year, Maassen said that ISIS was trying to "send a political, not an operational signal" by capitalizing on the migrant crisis.

“It wanted to show ... that it is capable of smuggling terrorists to Europe concealed as refugees and that every refugee can be a terrorist," the intellgence chief added.

His agency's annual security report published last week notes that Europe is faced with “a new dimension of [Islamist] terror," stating that “it has to be assumed that ISIS is planning further attacks in Europe, including Germany.”

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