German special police forces SEK stand guard outside the building of the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) in Karlsruhe, Germany, December 15, 2015. (Reuters)
Germany's interior minister has warned that the country is under the threat of foreign terrorist hit teams and domestic lone wolf attacks.
During a Saturday interview with the Bild newspaper, Thomas de Maiziere (seen below) said that Germany is the home of over 520 Daesh terrorists who are capable of engaging in individual attacks or in the form of organized “hit teams.”
"The terror threat now stems from foreign hit teams as well as fanatical lone wolves in Germany," he said.
He noted that another 360 “relevant” persons are also known to the police over their close association to the known terrorists.
Police officers stand by a regional train in Wuerzburg, Germany, on July 18, 2016 after a man attacked train passengers with an axe. (AFP)
"The hit teams are secretly smuggled into Europe and prepare their actions without being noticed, as we saw with the attacks in Paris and Brussels," he said. "But it's even more difficult to uncover the fanatical lone wolves. Unfortunately, there is a real and present danger from both threats."
De Maiziere stressed that German authorities are currently doing everything possible to track the “potential terrorists" but "the authorities are assuming there are undiscovered lone wolf terrorists out there."
Special police forces block the street near a refugee shelter where a 27-year-old Syrian migrant who set off an explosive device near an open-air music festival have stayed, on July 25, 2016 in Ansbach.  (AFP)
On July 18, a 17-year-old asylum seeker, believed to be from either Afghanistan or Pakistan, went on an axe rampage on a train in the German city of Wuerzburg, severely wounding four people and injuring a woman while fleeing the scene. The assailant was shot dead by the police. Later on July 24, a 27-year-old Syrian, whose refugee application had been refused, set off his explosives outside a bar in the city of Ansbach, wounding 15 people. Both attacks were claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.