The framing context for the origins of the Advice Centre
During the period leading up to the German Parliamentary Elections in 2009, the Federal Republic of Germany felt itself to be at risk from an increased threat of international Islamist terrorism – particularly in connection with an increase in the number of German Islamists, willing to engage in violence, who were leaving the country and travelling to Afghanistan and Pakistan, where they not only joined jihadist organisations but also issued terrorist threats against Germany.5 In addition to taking a large number of measures, the security services of the Federal State and of the individual German Federal States recognised the need to begin playing an active role in the prevention of Islamism and in deradicalisation. With this in mind, and within the framework of the “Gemeinsames Terrorismusabwehrzentrum” (GTAZ)i the AG Deradikalisierungii was brought into being, and this in turn is divided up into a variety of different sub-working groups. Within this structure, the widest possible assortment of topic ranges relating to the area of deradicalisation is dealt with. To take a few examples: among other things, on the one hand the experts from these official bodies addressed the deconstruction of the jihadist ideology (cognitive/ideological components) and the issue of the early recognition of radicalisation processes; and on the other, they also dealt with methods by which it might be possible to work with radicalised individuals through direct communication in order to effect a deradicalisation.
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