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Germany Carries Out 200 Simultaneous Raids Against Islamists

REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent

German authorities have raided more than 200 mosques, apartments and offices across 10 states Tuesday to shut down a Salafist group connected to Islamic State.

The raids targeted the “True Religion” group for spreading a particularly conservative translation of the Koran. The group is not suspected of planning an attack but has allegedly been helping ISIS recruit fighters.

“We don’t want terrorism in Germany… and we don’t want to export terrorism,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said during a press conference.

Officials said a major source of radicalization in Germany has now been eradicated, and that those who “spread hate” will no longer be allowed to hide behind freedom of religion.

“The message to the radical Islamist scene is clear: we do not tolerate fanatics who try to radicalize young people and send them to jihad,” said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the Hesse state, where most raids took place. “By banning this organization, a major source of radicalization has been eradicated nationwide.”

A Twitter account appearing to belong to the group tweeted “the Koran has been banned in Germany … we have delivered Allah’s message” in response to the raids.

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