In an interview published in a number of German newspapers belonging to the Funke media group, Herrmann said that the age of terrorists is getting younger and younger and so the BfV, Germany’s domestic security service, must be allowed to place minors under surveillance.
“In Bavaria, we have abolished the age limit for surveillance,” he said. “Normally, the domestic intelligence agency in Bavaria would not place children under surveillance. But if there is concrete evidence that a 12-year-old is with an Islamist group, we have to be able to monitor them, too.”
“I would strongly urge for the age limit for surveillance [carried out by the BfV] to be lowered throughout Germany,” he added.
Last year, Bavaria saw a number of attacks carried out by young men. In July, a 17-year-old Afghan refugee radicalized by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) attacked train passengers with an axe, wounding five, before being shot dead by police. A few days later, an 18-year-old of Iranian origin went on a shooting spree in Munich, killing 10 people including himself, though in that case the killer had a history of bullying and mental health issues as well as being obsessed with other mass shootings.