Authorities suspect Islamic State are trying to infiltrate the German army

German counter-espionage service investigating 60 possible cases of Islamic State infiltration within the armed forces

Authorities suspect Islamic State are trying to infiltrate the German army

Soldiers of the honour guard of the German forces attend a military welcome ceremony in April 2016. Image: AP Photo/Michael Sohn

Germany is to investigate all new military recruits amid fears Islamic State jihadists are trying to join the country’s armed forces.

A spokesman for the German counter-espionage service (MAD) said 20 Islamists had been identified in the Bundeswehr - which is made up of both the armed forces and civil administrative bodies.

He said 60 other potential cases are under investigation.

The German parliament is set to consider legislation that would introduce mandatory screening for all recruits in a bid to stop jihadists infiltrating the military and obtaining weapons training, according to German media group Funke.

The spokesman for MAD said recruiting offices had received a number of queries from people who wanted join the military for just a few months.

He said they had expressed an interest in intensive weapons and equipment training.

The agency said it was concerned about a July 2014 online posting by Islamic State urging those with military training to join its ranks.

The posting also urged supporters to learn to shoot and become familiar with weapons.

German security services are on high alert after two Islamist militant attacks this summer.

Last week, German police arrested a Syrian man in Berlin on suspicion of being a member of a terrorist organisation.

Another Syrian man was arrested in October on suspicion of planning a major attack in Berlin after police discovered explosives in his apartment.