As frequently reported here in recent months, there has been an upsurge of threats and violence from radical Islamic groups in Germany. The German government has finally taken decisive action, cracking down today on some of the Salafist groups.
Many thanks to Michael Laudahn for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for subtitling this news report from German TV:
Below are two articles about today’s action by the German police. The first is from AKI:
Police Target Salafite Suspects in Nationwide Raids
Berlin, 14 June (AKI) – Police on Thursday raided regional states across Germany as part of a crackdown on ultraconservative Salafite Muslims suspected of plotting against the state, the interior ministry said.
The raids were carried out on 70 locations including flats, mosques, schools and local associations, with the biggest operations taking place in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse, the ministry said.
Premises were also raided in Hamburg and in Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Bavaria.
Interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he had banned one of the Salafite groups called the Millatu Ibrahim, telling reporters “it works against our constitutional order.”
The raids could unearth evidence leading to two other radical Muslim groups being banned, Friedrich said, without providing any further details.
Authorities estimate there are about 2,500 Salafists in Germany.
North Rhine-Westphalia interior minister Ralf Jaeger said Thursday’s police operation was a “decisive step by the security services in the fight against dangerous extremists.”
As part of the operation, a mosque was raided in the western town of Solingen, where in early May, German authorities opened a probe against 44 Salafites and 37 others after they clashed violently with police.
Salafites have handed out 25 million copies of the Koran in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in a recent campaign to convert non-Muslims, alarming authorities.
The second article is from the BBC:
German Police in Major Crackdown on Salafist Muslims
German police have launched nationwide raids targeting ultra-conservative Islamic Salafists, suspected of posing a threat to public order. Searches took place early on Thursday at Salafists’ homes and meeting places in seven states, including Bavaria, Berlin and North Rhine-Westphalia. A Salafist group called Millatu Ibrahim, based in the western city of Solingen, has been banned. The raids follow clashes between police and some Salafists. German authorities believe the Salafists want to create a Sunni Islamic caliphate opposed to Western democracy. In one of the raids police removed items from the home of Salafist preacher Ibrahim Abu Nagie in Cologne. The authorities have been monitoring Salafist campaigns to recruit supporters, including the distribution of free Korans. There are believed to be about 4,000 active Salafists in Germany, the state-owned broadcaster ARD reports.
Title: Police raid against Salafists in 7 federal states
|0:00||(Beginning of sentence cut off) among the Islamist, radical Salafists.|
|0:03||They are partisans of an ultra-conservative current within Islam.|
|0:08||Now interior minister Friedrich no longer threatened them but took off the gloves:|
|0:11||He ordered major police raids and a prohibition of their association.|
|0:16||This morning in Duisburg.|
|0:18||Just as here, police proceed on a nationwide basis against institutions maintained by the Salafists.|
|0:23||They look for evidence against associations suspected of breaking German law.|
|0:29||The officers find what they were looking for, and the authorities react swiftly.|
|0:32||I would like to inform you that I ordered today a prohibition, based on the law of associations, of the Salafist organisation Millatu-Ibrahim.|
|0:40||The objectives of this association run contrary to our constitutional order|
|0:45||and against the principle of international understanding.|
|0:49||At the same time, the federal ministry of the interior has initiated preliminary proceedings against two more Salafist organisations.|
|0:57||These are a network consisting of two groups: ‘The True Religion’ and the ‘Dawa FFM’ group.|
|1:04||The True Religion became known through the Cologne preacher Ibrahim Abu Nagi.|
|1:09||He caused a stir by distributing Korans free of charge in several German cities.|
|1:16||Radical Salafists are under suspicion of using their propaganda to incite Islamists to commit violence,|
|1:23||or of maintaining relations to terror networks themselves.|
|1:26||In March 2011, a Salafist sympathiser shot and killed two US soldiers at Frankfurt airport.|
|1:34||Since then radical Islamists haven been more closely monitored by security agencies.|
|1:42||It was a major and well-prepared action against German Salafism.|
|1:45||After repeated threats against journalists, excesses during demonstrations,|
|1:50||after attacks against police officers, politicians finally saw a need for action.|
|1:54||Most of all, one thing was meant to be emphasised:|
|1:56||Germany is a country where there is space for religious devotion, but not for radicalism.|
Hat tips for the articles: C. Cantoni, TV.