Germany Targets Radical Islamist Groups In Nationwide Raids

Germany - German authorities carried out nationwide raids today against extremist Islamist groups, banning one organization and starting probes of two others.

The Salafist group Millatu Ibrahim was outlawed and DawaFFM and DWR are being investigated by authorities in seven German states in an operation that began at 6 a.m. local time today, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. The groups are accused of threatening Germany’s security with their potential for violence and radical adherence to Islamic Shariah law.

“Such an understanding of Islam has no place in Germany,” German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said in a statement. Millatu Ibrahim especially is accused of calling adherents to an “active struggle” through violence against the state and recognizes Shariah above German law, Friedrich said.

Salafist violence was highlighted last month when Islamist radicals attacked members of an anti-immigrant group, pro-NRW, as well as police during an election campaign in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. German authorities have identified radical Islam as an increasing threat over the last decade, much of it targeting the country as the third-largest troop contributor to the NATO mission in Afghanistan.

German authorities in 2007 thwarted a planned bombing attack that they said could have been the worst in Germany’s post-World War II history. A German court two years ago convicted four men for the crime.

Officials say Salafis pose an increasing threat with a potential for violence, using the Internet and distributing religious literature to spread their word. A leader of Germany’s Salafist movement, an Austrian citizen identified as Mohamed M., left the country in April after being threatened with deportation, the Hesse state Interior Ministry said in a statement on its website April 27.