Salafist Muslims influenced by a controversial preacher are leaving Germany to move to Egypt in search of the "true" Islam. German intelligence officials, who have been cracking down on radical Muslim groups recently, are concerned they may end up in networks linked to al-Qaida.

It's well known that many German Islamists have traveled to lawless regions of Pakistan over the last few years to join other jihadists there. But in recent weeks German authorities have been observing a new destination for Islamists leaving Germany: Egypt.

A number of Salafists, who practice a particularly strict form of Islam, are following the lead of an Austrian "hate preacher" known as Mohamed Mahmoud and traveling to the North African country, SPIEGEL has learned. Mahmoud, 27, is the leader of the Millatu Ibrahim network, which was banned in June. He left Germany in the spring to avoid deportation.

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