Georg Spöttle on the Large Number of Jihadists in the Bundeswehr

Georg Spöttle* is a German-Hungarian security analyst with special expertise in Central European affairs. Last Monday we featured a print interview with him about the migration crisis in Germany and Western Europe.

The video below is an interview with Mr. Spöttle from Hungarian TV. Many thanks to CrossWare for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


0:00   In France they’re restoring the National Guard.
0:03   In Germany they look like they’re getting ready for a war or disaster.
0:07   They’re stockpiling fuel and emergency supplies,
0:10   While the growing part of the population is dissatisfied
0:13   with the handling of the migration crisis.
0:16   To add to that, from German military intelligence, and this is very important,
0:19   or more precisely, astonishing news: 300 people with radical views are employed by the Germany army,
0:25   who most likely include radical Islamists.
0:29   I would like to welcome our political security expert into the studio: Mr. Georg Spöttle.
0:33   Greetings to the viewers. — A little jump back in time first.
0:38   When we talked about problems in the Bundeswehr. In July the German minister of defense announced
0:43   That they would change the recruiting policy of the army,
0:47   and they would provide the opportunity for citizens outside of the EU,
0:50   more precisely citizens of non-Union members and EU members outside of Germany,
0:55   to enter the army. Do we have similar examples of recruiting foreign citizens into the Bundeswehr?
1:02   I have no knowledge of such a thing. With dual citizenship, yes.
1:06   I had a comrade whose mother was French and his father German. He had dual citizenship,
1:09   and of course he was allowed to serve in the army.
1:12   But is very worrisome that a couple of investigative journalists
1:15   brought up the fact that the 60% of the fighting units
1:20   are not native German, and have migrant roots. The Army is
1:23   one of the most important force in a country. I believe
1:26   loyalty is indispensable, just like for the police or any other government institution.
1:31   If we think about that, we have hundreds of (300) people with radical views.
1:36   I have to add that it is not only radical Islamists we’re talking about, but radical ultra-right elements.
1:41   But this is not a new thing. When I started my military career
1:45   they had some young guys — one of them were caught by my group —
1:49   who joined the army, in this example, to learn how to use various weapons,
1:55   to learn military tactics.
1:58   He was sympathizer of the Red Brigade fraction, RAF in Germany.
2:04   So there were always people who joined the police or army to get training.
2:10   Do I understand your words correctly — there is a connection between migration
2:14   and the growing jihadist infiltration into the army?
2:18   Absolutely! Ursula von der Leyen, the Minister of Defense, did not reject the idea
2:23   of recruiting soldiers from the newly-arrived migrants.
2:26   Of course this was met with disagreement from many politicians
2:29   and even laymen.
2:32   Because if a foreigner, for example a Hungarian, wants to join the German army
2:36   and this becomes possible, why not? No problem;
2:40   it would be as a citizen of the European Union. He could enter the army and,
2:43   like the American example, after five years or even earlier become a citizen.
2:46   But someone for example coming from the Middle East, like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
2:51   where we can simply do not have the ability to check his past, we can’t conduct
2:55   a “B” or “C” type of review, we do not know if he would be loyal to the state
3:00   or if he was just infiltrating us to establish a sleeper cell.
3:03   That threat is very possible. I would tie the army positions to mandatory citizenship.
3:10   If they have multiple citizenship, at least one of their nationalities should be German.
3:13   This would be perfectly understandable for an average citizen, I think.
3:16   But was not only an astonishing revelation from the Intelligence Service
3:19   that they have such a large number of jihadists in the Bundeswehr,
3:22   but they also announced they will start a new program that would add
3:26   20,000 surveillance cases per year, which would
3:31   cost the German taxpayers €8.2 billion.
3:36   So nobody watched until now? — No, they did have any monitoring.
3:40   Of course, in my time, when service was still compulsory, you got your papers and you joined;
3:44   it was simple. If you wanted to go for Special Forces or Military Intelligence, of course there was
3:50   a background check. Now they want that for everybody who becomes a professional soldier
3:53   Because there is no more compulsory service,
3:56   voluntary recruiting is going on,
4:00   and it looks like they want to extend the procedure to everybody,
4:04   to filter people with ultra-right, ultra-left or even radical Islamist views.
4:08   Because the person can cause extreme damage to the army.
4:12   He has access to weapons, explosives, he can spy… the damage would be inestimable.
4:19   So they get training. This is similar to what happened in Syria when the USA trained some forces,
4:25   “moderately” radical forces, who almost immediately joined ISIS after training.
4:30   This is happened in the French army, in the Foreign Legion,
4:34   where Arab soldiers escaped and joined the Islamic State.
4:38   The last similar desertion from the Bundeswehr was bit more positive:
4:42   A young guy went to fight on the Kurdish side against the ISIS.
4:46   But there are ex-soldiers with Islamic roots who went to Syria and Iraq and joined ISIS.
4:51   Now this topic is especially critical, because the jihadists’ main targets
4:55   are the defense forces: police and army.
5:02   It’s a not too old news that they arrested a 16-year-old girl,
5:05   who attacked a German police officer with a knife.
5:10   How big is the security risk, if the Jihadists can infiltrate any law enforcement?
5:17   Incredibly dangerous! Any fanatical follower can be given a task
5:21   to spy or cover up any trail,
5:26   change any document, have full access to the police network and databases,
5:33   all the data we collect from criminals or suspicious elements,
5:36   from the police or Intelligence services.
5:39   If someone works at some higher place such as criminal investigation or counterintelligence,
5:43   he can even delete some information.
5:46   He can modify a birth date or any other data in a personal file,
5:49   and a wanted Jihadist or a criminal will slip through in any police checks.
5:55   They use these databases at roadblocks, and if it matches with his (fake) papers they will let him go.
6:02   I’m telling you, it could cause very serious damage, hiding crimes
6:06   or even letting other groups into the country.
6:13   So the possible damage would be irreparable. I trust your imagination in this case.
6:18   Earlier we mentioned that they stockpiling emergency supplies, fuels in Germany,
6:24   as if they were expecting some catastrophe or getting ready for a military conflict.
6:30   What are they preparing? What dangers does Berlin expect?
6:33   Berlin is officially saying there is no danger at all; this is only the
6:39   reform of the 1995 Disaster Protection Act,
6:42   and it just coincided with the migration. But if one looks at this
6:46   a bit more closely, they are not only talking about
6:49   emergency supplies and fuel, but this Friday the government announced
6:52   that in an emergency situation — which was not defined at all —
6:56   they can expropriate food-producing factories and farms completely with the full inventory of produce,
7:01   to supply the population with food and water
7:04   in an area that has suffered a natural disaster or terrorist attack.
7:08   So it looks like they preparing for something concrete,
7:11   or even if they don’t have any concrete leads but they are afraid.
7:15   It is simple to see this, because 70% of this 2.1 million migrant mass
7:20   is made up of young military-age men.
7:23   There is a strong possibility that Jihadists came into the EU and Germany, too,
7:28   and in the case of a comprehensive terror attack,
7:32   they might even occupy a smaller city easily,
7:36   and they could even hold it for weeks or even months, depending on
7:40   how trained they are. And the government is understandably getting ready for such eventualities.
7:43   Is there some dissonance here? How are these steps aligned with the migrant politics of Angela Merkel?
7:49   Well it seems that politics is in state of collapse.
7:52   It is very interesting: one of my favorite banks, the Commerzbank AG in Germany,
7:55   Took an economic survey which was published today,
8:00   All the German papers reported on it, so people who read German can check it out.
8:03   They asked the experts if there any positive result is evident yet as a result of migration,
8:11   and the answer was no — about 100 people started working, out of 2.1 million!
8:15   100 people from that high a number, I don’t think this can be measured at all reliably in statistics.
8:20   But in this year they will cost €27.5 billion.
8:24   They do not have any long-term prospects because they are illiterate.
8:28   The Merkelien “Wir schaffen das” expectations that these are all
8:32   university graduates, all brain surgeons, rocket scientists —
8:35   This has not worked out at all!
8:38   The diagrams show very clearly around 90% of the arrived migrants are illiterate.
8:42   Thank you very much for talking to us. — It was my pleasure.

* This brief bio of Georg Spöttle is based on another interview, Soul of a commando 2002:

Georg Spöttle was born of a German mother and a Hungarian father (he uses his mother’s name). He lived in both in Germany and Hungary. He joined the German army (Bundeswehr) at age 20, specializing in experimental weaponry. Following his personal interest in the Middle East, he learned Arabic and visited many countries in the region. Recruited by the German military intelligence service for his extensive knowledge (he also speaks four different languages), he spent ten years in service. After that he joined the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalalamt, equivalent of the NSA and MI5). He spent another ten years in the service, visited many Middle Eastern countries (Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, …) as an operations officer. Since he retired from active service and now living in Hungary he has worked as a security/anti-terrorist expert with very good connections to the office of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He also has extensive knowledge of the German military and great connections to the European intelligence community. (his blog [Hungarian])

49 thoughts on “Georg Spöttle on the Large Number of Jihadists in the Bundeswehr

  1. In the previous article there was a point which created some controversy. It was about saying 60% not being German native in the Bundeswehr. I asked him for clarification via Facebook (so far no response) but in this interview he repeated the 60% but it was more clearly phrased than in the article:
    1:12 – “But is very worrisome that a couple of investigative journalists brought up the fact that the 60% of the fighting units are not native German, and have migrant roots.”
    This one is more believable as he says “fighting units” and includes all people with migrant roots. So people of all countries included here but if we look at the stats:
    We will see the largest group by far is the Turks: (63%), Middle East: 8% = 71% (probably Muslim for simplifying the calculation)
    The active front line strength: 180,000

    60% of 180,000 = 108,000
    71% of 108,000 = 76,680

    So in the printed article when he said 60% or 60,000 people is Muslim in the German army he did not make a mistake… (Unfortunately)

    Some other interesting data from this video:
    2.1 million migrant
    70% military age man
    started working: 100 (yes one hundred from 2.1 million)
    cost of migrants for 2016: 27.5 billion euro
    illiterate: 90% = 1.89 million

    Germany chances: almost zero (ok that was me)

    • Hi CrossWare. Did you find anywhere in your first in that says that the number of Muslims, or people with a migrant background, in the German military was 60%? All I could find was an estimate of 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims in the military (page 14).

      As for the 63% Turks and 8% Middle Easterners – does that not refer to the percentages of regiona backgrounds of Muslims in Germany? (figure 2) – eg percent of Muslims in Germany that are Turks?!

      Undoubtedly Germany has a large Isis problem, and a big risk of Jihadi infiltration in its military – but whether the numbers are so staggering, as presented by Mr Spoettle, is imo still open to question 🙂

      • Crossware’s numbers are wrong. He didn’t read carefully the document he cites. See my post below.

        • never ever are there 60% muslims in the army.And this for a simple reason: they would not fulfill the minimal requirements of the entrance tests, which is a highschool diploma + test, passed only by 60% of the turkish origin population.And more than that, the paygrades accessible as privates or NCOs are not interesting for people with such high self esteem( ” my third degree uncle owns 18 acres of pasture land near the iranian border and I am going to marry his youngest daughter”, irony off).

      • I assumed same portion minorities in the army as it is in the civilian population. (of course there could be differences, one could argue less or more but the difference should not be major). The army does not collect religious affiliation (first link, couple of pages before the diagram), so the 2000 people who counted as Muslim by their own admission but this number could be significantly off than reality: first a lot of secular Turks living in Germany, came from a more secular Turkey in the 70’s 80’s. Also ISIS agents are instructed to not show themselves as devout Muslim (and bring attention) I believe the 2000 is the devout Muslims demanding prayer time (5xday) and mosques on base etc… Of course this does not mean the rest is ISIS agent (it should be a small number) but with secular members the danger is not gone. Sudden Jihad Syndrome can come to play or when the shooting starts even secular soldiers with Turkish background will side with their countryman.

        • However, to my understanding, the 68% was not the percentage of minorities having Turkish background – but percentage of Muslims (figure 2). So is this a high number? Given the stereotypes about immigrants in Germany, I’m surprised it’s not closer to 100%!

    • Did you bother reading the document? Your numbers are from figure 2 which shows the geographic distribution of German minorities in Germany as a whole.

      Figure 3 shows that 12.1% of the German armed forces have at least one foreign parent including Eastern Europeans.

      • Because not all eastern Europeans are Muslim, less than 12.1% of the German armed forces is Muslim. Possibly a lot less.

        • Hi Rj,
          Ok let’s finish the number war because it is takes away the focus from the real important issues. If you say I am wrong, then I am wrong…
          Based on your number: 12.1% “only” 21,780 Muslim in the army… Whaaaat? This is only TEN TIMES LARGER than the official number… They could be lying? The German government is lying? Oh no that is not possible, right!?
          The real issue is the 1.6 million military age migrants! How many soldier Muslims does it take to open some weapon storage and arm his buddies? Even if just 20 decides to act we looking at a country wide disaster…

          • Less than all of the 12.1% is Muslim, so the official number could be correct.

            The million or so young male migrants are a very serious matter.

      • Lacking the specific data, I assumed the same distribution percentage for army as for the whole country. Granted, it introduce some imprecision to the calculation but I believe not enough to gap the bridge between 60k and 2k. See my comment above…

        • In the UK Muslims are seriously underrepresented in the armed forces relative to their percentage of the overall population. Why not the same in Germany?

      • Figure 2 is not even percentages of German minorities – it’s percentages of German Muslims. Eg 68% of Muslims in Germany have a Turkish background. So totally ignores Italians, Eastern Europeans etc.

    • Wow, if that is true, then this little warning about stocking up on food is looking pretty scary. This cannot be happening by accident.

    • This is a startling statistic, is the Germany Army really 60% muslim? Assuming that most people of migrant backgrounds in Germany are muslim, it may be so.

      So imagine a scenario whereby Islamists working quietly within the Army recruit these muslim soldiers to form a force within a force. Waiting for the order when one day they will simultaneously rise up, kill their commanding officers and non muslim fellow soldiers. Then you are left with a muslim army capable of overthrowing the German State.
      If these soldiers are actually Turks, then Erdogan may get his dream.

        • RJ is our resident low-social skills tut-tutting professor. But he does seem to have some intellectual rigor.

        • RJ, please don’t shoot the messenger. He or she is doing it all for free, for us, and it takes time and effort. I too am very skeptical about the numbers, but the problem is with Spoettle, not with the translator.
          I am astonished that he is standing by the 60% figure here in this vid. I would expect some documentary backup. Googling around auf deutsch suggests the true number is a fraction of that, as you say, even if we stick to fighting units.

          • Ok public apology to all for tone, and especially to crossware. It is better to have people adding to the conversation than not. If I my sour disposition has left anyone with a bitter aftertaste then please forgive me. I will do better next time.

  2. So!

    There we have it, time to lock and load folks!

    Confirmed 200% that merkel and her gang are out to destroy all germany, all europe, and are lieing tooth and nail.

    I advise everyone to get armed today!

    Because soon, one morning, u gonna wake up and a war has begun in your town or area, and u find the power down, phones cut, inet off, police stations on fire, and u realise you are alone!

    I prey to god that germans rise up [redacted].

    May god help us all.


  3. This is a great website but it will lose its value if commenters waste people’s time and focus by failing to do the minimum amount of work

    • This great website will lose its collegial spirit if we are subject to professorial tut-tutting at other people’s efforts. Look in the mirror, Rj. Intellectual rigor is not everything, social skills are important. You may be right to correct or improve some of that work, but you don’t have to do it in a low social-skills pompous, censorious way.

        • I have to hand it to you — that is funny! 🙂 Maybe your social skills are not as low as I thought!

      • Depends what you prefer. Some major leftist website looking at claims like the “60%”, and using it to call GoV a “far-right alarmist website spreading falsehoods”, and its readers likewise, or picky readers like Rj fact-checking our claims, before they go out to the wider world?

        Personally, I prefer this to be done by the Rjs of this world – with or without the social skills!

        • Yes, that’s what Gates of Vienna readers do very well — fact-check. The distributed intelligence of our readers has demonstrated that Spöttle’s figure is not supported by any publicly-available evidence. It doesn’t mean that it’s not accurate, just that it isn’t supported.

          I’ve learned the hard way that it’s VERY hard to obtain any reliable figures on the ethnic composition of Western European countries, and nearly impossible with France and Sweden. One is left to making a best-guess estimate based on various related statistics. If that is true of the population in general, why shouldn’t it be true for the Bundeswehr? We are simply left to guess, and some people guess differently than others.

          • Yes, we know that the demographic of males of military age is growing at a massive rate, especially in Germany – however based on other countries, like Britain (where there’s more Muslims confirmed as joining Jihadi groups, than those joining the military), it seems they’re not so keen on being soldiers… whether that’s because the pay is too low, they don’t want to potentially fight against Muslims or don’t like having kuffar commanding officers is anyone’s guess.

  4. ” Ursula von der Leyen, the Minister of Defense, did not reject the idea of recruiting soldiers from the newly-arrived migrants.
    Of course this was met with disagreement from many politicians and even laymen.”

    Good grief! is the German government in la la land? Back in the old days, immigrants were screened and had to swear oaths of loyalty to their new nation. Then they might be able to join the military. This idea from the Defense minister is like training and maintaining a hostile army within your own borders.

    • Do not forget the fact for Muslims all man made law are meaningless and inferior compared to their doctrine. They are instructed to use deception (taqiyya) when the advancement of Islam is possible. Do you think taking an oath for a foreign country constitution and lying will shake their conscience?

      • ALL laws are man-made, and so are ‘laws’ in the koran, many of which have been abrogated; by whom, gods?

        islam is insanely stupid, yet is tolerated by the western world….

        • Of course the Quran was written by a human and yes it is a load of garbage and 7th century nonsense. But we knowing this will not change the opinion of 1.6 billion Muslim opinion and most importantly not changing their actions based on that doctrine.

          • I realize that, was simply stating a fact.
            Further, I really don’t see any way we can change the actions of people many of whom are illiterate, inbred, bullying thugs–short of resorting to the solution the U.S. employed with Japan at the end of WW2.

            Sounds drastic, I know, but as moslems have demonstrated for 1400 years, the only thing they know and respect is force, and the longer we refrain from using it, the more islam will advance; simple as that.

          • For Peter35,

            Islam is a low-technology, but high social intelligence phenomenon. Within their borders, they present little threat to Western countries (although this may change with the US-supported Pakistani nukes and the US-tolerated Iranian nukes). So, in general,there is no need to interfere with Muslim countries or do anything to harm their citizens.

            Allowing them inside our borders changes the entire perspective. We eliminate our advantage of technological superiority, and subject ourselves to their traditional culture of double-faced, double-dealing, subversion, misrepresentation and infiltration. Getting them out then may involve a civil war akin to the Spanish Reconquista, but it emphatically does not involve starving Iraqi children or nuking Mecca.

          • Ronald, I nearly always agree with your thoughtful, well reasoned comments, but in this case I have to stand behind my words, we are doing absolutely nothing to stop the invasion. They demand, our governments acquiesce; we are in a war, FGS! And moslems are the enemy. As for nuking Mecca, and starving Iraqi kids, how much thought was given to people and kids in Dresden–or Coventry?

            As regards “high social intelligence…” I don’t agree; it’s just that our so called leaders are being willfully dumb and actually treating moslems as superior beings. (as we all know, eh?)
            I repeat, we are in a war, and if we continue playing by Geneva rules while the enemy observes no rules; we are going to lose.

  5. Also in small neighbouring Austria the armed forces (here its called “Bundesheer”) have problems with potential Jihadis.

    2011 a former soldier of the “Gardekompanie” wanted to join al-Qaida in Afghanistan.
    Last year fe. the military intelligence (Abwehramt) started an investigation against 5 soldiers with muslim background who had posed in the manner of ISIS and later posted the picture online.
    Further investigation ended inconclusive (very convenient for politicians).
    A private (Rekrut) with turkish background did likewise, posing as an IS-fighter.
    And then there was this:

    There are also plausibly reports that during swearing in single muslim rekruts will turn away from the austrian flag.

    • The armed forces in Vienna itself allready consist of 25 % privates with muslim background.
      The guard of honor even of 50 %.

        • I doubt that I care much for a trolls doubts.
          I`m an Austrian from Vienna myself and these are official numbers from our military and government.

          And it has nothing to do whatsoever with the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
          Not only was the number of Muslims at that time a very low one, the Muslims of today in Austria come from a complete different part of the world then fe the Bosnians, and mostly not even from Europe.

          • Astuga, could you give us an official link backing up this claim (The armed forces in Vienna itself allready consist of 25 % privates with muslim background) and expanding on it?

          • The numbers vary from year to year (with rising tendency), since we have conscription in Austria (so you will find different numbers online, depending on the year they were published).
            Also less muslim youth choose the substitute Civilian Service then other male youths.
            Recent numbers show about 10 % Muslims nationwide in the armed forces (2007 it were only 7 %), 25 % in Vienna, and 50 % in the somewhat prestigious “Gardekompanie”.

            And since the Soldiers have their own Imams who were provided by the official Islamic Faith Communtiy (IGGiÖ) the numbers are valid, because the number of Imams in military service depends on the number of muslim soldiers.

            State media ORF (using data from Viennas armed forces Commander):
            One can find the same numbers used by broadsheed papers like Kurier or Standard.
            Here old numbers (from 2007) from a parlamentary session.
            But I wont flood the commentary Section with german language links.

            And yes, they all are originaly from outside of Austria.
            Omitting the few converts to Islam every single muslim in Austria has a migrant background.
            Turkish, Kurdish, Arabic, Bengali, Chechen, Pakistani, Albanian, Bosnian (the lather tough geographically and historical closest to Austria only came into the country during the Balkan Wars and in following years).

          • So, a question: everyone seems talking about the real danger of terror or local uprisings from Muslim members of the German and Austrian armed forces.

            Is the Turkish army considered a threat?

            Turkey has a very large army, well-supplied, and a history of aggression towards Europe. Turkey, even under the Caliphate, repelling the direct Allied invasions during World War I.

            My view is, if NATO is ever stupid enough to gin up a direct conflict with Russia over protecting a fascist Ukraine government or the NATO membership of the Baltic states, Russia may well facilitate the Turkish invasion of Europe.

            In such a scenario, a systematic Turkish infiltration of the German and Austrian military may be decisive.

          • Thanks for the link to ORF, astuga. I must admit I was disinclined to believe the 25% figure, but there it is, from the mouth of Vienna top commander Brigadier Kurt Wagner.

  6. Whatever is the correct figure of the several quoted above it is too many – indeed one would be too many and here in the UK, whilst the exact figure is not available in the public domain, we certainly have more than one as well.

    All in all I do hope that if we are ever called out to help (via NATO) our boys and girls don’t find the Bundeswehr on their flank or, heaven forbid, in support behind.

    • It`s clear that not every muslim in any western military is a jihadist or shares their fundamentalistic positions.
      But its also clear that in times of crisis most of them will take sides.

      One has just to take a look at the turkish and kurdish demonstrations nowadays in Europe.
      Most of them live in Europe since many years and sometimes allready for 2 or 3 Generations.
      In todays modern society you just can`t assimiliate migrants with a strong religious and national identity.
      The watch their own TV, regulary visit their country of origin, often marry a foreign partner, and even keep their old citizenship (besides to the german, swiss or austrian one).

      • Yeah. Duel citizenship should be eliminated. You owe your loyalty to one country. Make your pick.

        Duel citizenship seems to me to be a golden gate to infiltration and subversion. Acts which would bring extreme suspicion for nationals in a position requiring security clearance (such as time spent in a foreign country), have the perfect cover in a duel national.

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