Officials in Germany say some 30 Islamic extremists have left the country and traveled to Egypt in recent weeks following a call from an influential imam.
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Interior Ministry spokesman Jens Teschke said Wednesday that the so-called Salafis were urged by Austrian preacher Mohamed Mahmoud to join him in Egypt after his ultraconservative Islamic organization group Millatu Ibrahim was banned in Germany in June.
Der Spiegel reports this week the Salafists see an opportunity to live the "true Islamic" life or to "fight unbelievers" in post-Mubarak Egypt.
Teschke confirmed the Spiegel story, and says the German government is "carefully watching" the situation.
Germany's intelligence and security agencies have increasingly been monitoring the actions of the Salafis, who number some 4,000 in Germany, in recent months.