Intelligence Report: Regional Events Could Drive Powerful PKK in Germany to Violence

RUDAW  – 30.6.2013 – COLOGNE, Germany – With an estimated 13,000 supporters, the Kurdistan Workers Party is the “biggest foreign and radical force” in Germany, and events in Syria and Turkey could drive the group toward taking the path of violence in Germany, an official report says.

The 2012 report of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV) also mentions the Kurdish Hizballah group in Turkey, and claims that the radical Ansar al-Islam fighting in Syria “receive support and assistance from the Kurdistan Region.”

But the 379-page report, whose contents were revealed by BFV President Hans-George Maassen and Hans-Peter Friedrich, the federal interior minister, devotes 23 pages to the PKK. It says that, “The PKK continues to be active in Germany, especially in the current conditions of (Abdullah) Ocalan,” the PKK’s powerful leader who has been negotiating peace with Ankara in a three-decade war from his Turkish prison cell.

“The increasing discontent in Turkey and Syria might lead the members of the PKK to take the path of violence in Germany. Their organization is capable of gathering the youth and attracting media attention in a short time,” the German report says.

It says that 800,000 Kurds reside in Germany, and estimates that 13,000 of them are members of the PKK.It also mentions other organizations close to the PKK, describing them to be: “Struggling for cultural and political independence of the Kurds in Turkey. They demand the freedom or improving the conditions of their leader Abdullah Ocalan.”The report lists 43 organizations affiliated to the Union of the Kurdish Groups in Germany (YEK-KOM), and says the PKK uses them to organize its campaigns and political activities.

The report assesses the PKK is the “biggest foreign and radical force,” in the number of followers, and says it, “Is trying to unilaterally address the Kurdish issues and attempts to appear as a nonviolent organization in western Europe.”

It reports that since 2002, the PKK has unsuccessfully tried to get its name off of international terrorism lists by using different names, and says that the organization has many times spoken democratically about changing its internal structure, but that it practices narcissistic membership policies.  “Making decisions in a bottom-to-top approach has never been practically implemented yet,” the report says. Mentioning Ansar al Islam group, which was formed in 2001, the BFV report warns that authorities are suspicious that unknown affiliates in Germany could be receiving assistance from individuals in Iraq.

The report also indicates that the majority of Ansar al-Islam members are Sunni Kurds, and that in 2012 around 2.000 gathered in Belgium and cities in Germany to commemorate the birth of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.Regarding, Hizballah in Germany, the report says he group uses Germany as a logistical base for gathering money and holding meetings in the guise of religious and cultural gatherings. “They do not allow anyone outside their organization know about the structure of their group because they are under external pressure, especially from Turkey,” the report concludes.