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Salafist Group Banned in Germany

Salafist Group Banned in Germany

Thursday, 25 February, 2021 - 08:45
Police officers guard an area after an individual fired shots in the city center of Berlin, Germany December 30, 2019. REUTERS/Michele Tantussi

Hundreds of German police carried out raids in 26 locations across Berlin and neighboring Brandenburg state on Thursday following the banning and dissolution of a radical group in the capital, authorities said.

Berlin's Senate interior department said it had outlawed Jama'atu Berlin, a young and very radical Salafist association, also known as Tauhid Berlin, saying the group was advocating terrorist attacks.

Nineteen members of the association were the focus of Thursday's raids and the group had been under surveillance for two years, Berlin Interior Senator Andreas Geisel told a news conference.

A Senate statement said the group had propagated "a martyr cult", supported ISIS ideology and rejected the German constitution.

"(In the group), there are severe anti-Semites who are calling for the death of Jews," Berlin Interior Secretary Torsten Akmann said in a statement.

Akmann told the news conference he did not know if any arrests were made on Thursday or whether the group had concrete attack plans, but that the investigation was still ongoing.

Male and female members of the unregistered association met regularly in parks and private homes, the Senate statement said.

Several members also belonged to another group banned in 2017 which had contact with Anis Amri, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker with militant links who hijacked a truck and drove it into a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016, killing 12 people.

The number of Salafists in Germany rose to a record high of 12,150 in 2019, the domestic intelligence agency said in its annual report last year, more than tripling since 2011.

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