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Official concerned by risk from Germans in Syria

July 9, 2013

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s top security official says dozens of young Germans have traveled to Syria and may be being radicalized by Islamic extremist groups involved in the country’s civil war.

Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said 60 Germans are currently in Syria, news agency dpa reported. He added: “Our fear is that they are being radicalized in training camps by organizations close to al-Qaida.”

Friedrich said at a meeting of federal and state security officials in Nuremberg that authorities have to ensure such people are observed after they return to Germany. He put at about 1,000 the number of young people from European Union countries who are in Syria, dpa reported.

Rebels against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad range in ideology from secular to hard-line Islamic extremists.

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