[QODLink]
Europe
Germany raids target Salafists
About 70 different premises raided, targeting suspects belonging to groups espousing an austere form of Sunni Islam.
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2012 18:44

German police have carried out raids in seven different states targeting individuals suspected of belonging to Islamic Salafist groups, the interior ministry said.

At the same time, Hans-Peter Friedrich, the interior minister, banned one particular network known as "Millatu Ibrahim".

Three ultra-conservative Muslim organisations were targeted in the raids early on Thursday, a ministry spokesman said, without providing any further details.

About 70 different premises were raided, 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.

'Decisive step'

In a statement, the regional state interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ralf Jaeger, described the police operation as a "decisive step by the security services in the fight against dangerous extremists."

"Today's operation shows that we're turning up the pressure on the Salafists," Jaeger said.

At the beginning of May, German authorities opened an inquiry against 44 members of the Islamic Salafist community and 37 others after violent clashes with police in the western town of Solingen.

The Salafists have raised concern with their drive to convert non-Muslims, a campaign that has involved handing out 25 million copies of the Quran in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Authorities estimate there are about 2,500 Salafists in Germany. They espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam, but officials in Germany accuse them of also condoning violence against state institutions.

230

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.