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Programme to help Islamic extremists reform

GERMANY’S domestic intelligence service yesterday started a programme for Islamist radicals who want to quit extremism, an initiative under which people will be offered help finding new jobs and moving home.

A spokeswoman for the agency, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to say how much money had been allocated or how many employees were working for the programme. However, she said the agency would guarantee confidentiality to users, and also help with safety measures if people seeking to quit are threatened by radicals.

“Our programme is an offer for those who want to leave extremism behind,” she said. “Once we find out what their needs are, we will develop the programme accordingly.”

The service estimates there are more than 36,000 Islamist extremists in Germany, but only a fraction are potentially violent.

The programme, which is called HATIF – meaning phone in Arabic – also is aimed at family members or friends of people who have come under the influence of extremists.


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