Germany aims to tackle a growing threat from Islamic extremists with an exit programme modelled on assistance for repentant neo-Nazis, authorities said Monday.
"We plan to offer a hotline and a website for people who have fallen under the influence of fundamentalists, Islamists or terrorists," Heinz Fromm, head of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the domestic intelligence agency, told reporters.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the news conference that the service would be available in a few weeks' time.
Militants wanting to turn their backs on extremism will be put in contact with "trained personnel who are capable of offering help to people in German but also in Arabic or Turkish," Fromm said.
"We think it will be a useful effort, even though it is modest, to take a preventative approach to this problem," de Maiziere said.
The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution launched a similar programme for right-wing extremists in 2001.
It said it has received about 1,040 calls to the hotline since it was established, about 300 of them from former extremists seeking help.
About 120 of them have received or are receiving "intensive assistance" in reorienting their lives, the office's website said.
Source: Expatica-AFP (English)