A Salafist group known as “The True Religion” has been shut down after the government said 140 of its supporters travelled to fight for ISIS.
The German government banned a Salafist group known as “The True Religion” for allegedly recruiting for the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL). The group gained notoriety for handing out German translations of the Quran, although the government stated there was nothing wrong with distributing the Islamic holy book in any language.
“The organization brings Islamic jihadists together under the pretext of the harmless distribution of the Quran,” Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told the press, stressing that the arrests were because the group acted as a “collecting pool” for jihadists.
“A systematic curtailment of our rule of law has nothing to do with the alleged freedom of religion” he added.
Police in Germany raided 190 locations around the country as part of the crackdown. No one was detained.
“The True Religion” is reportedly the sixth such organization to be banned since 2012. Maizière said that 140 supporters of the group travelled to Syria or Iraq to fight for the Islamic State.
The group is also known as “Read,” referring to reading the Quran. “The translations of the Quran are being distributed along with messages of hatred and unconstitutional ideologies,” Mr. de Maizière said. “Teenagers are being radicalized with conspiracy theories.”
The German spy agency, BND, has also warned about the threat posed by ISIS fighters coming into Germany, rather than leaving the country. The group is sneaking fighters into the country disguised as refugees, German media reports quote BND as saying.
ISIS even created a handbook training its members on how to pass screening checks and successfully enter Europe as a refugee, the German Federal Intelligence Service reportedly said.
Terror concerns in Germany are not solely restricted to Islamist groups. Incensed at Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door immigration policies, sections of the far right are also said to pose a threat to national security and to the lives of both left wing politicians and refugees.
Eight German nationals have been charged for forming a far-right terrorist organization in the state of Saxony. The group, calling itself “Gruppe Freital” after the suburb of Dresden where it was formed, stands accused of carrying out five xenophobic attacks on refugee centers and left wing politicians.”
Seven of those in the group have been charged with attempted murder, with an eighth charged with accessory to attempted murder. The group allegedly carried out bombings of the car of a left-wing politician, a left-wing party’s political office and two refugee houses.
“The goal of this group was to carry out bombing attacks on asylum-seeker facilities as well as homes, offices and vehicles of those with different political thinking,” prosecutors told the court. “By doing that, the suspects wanted to create a climate of fear and repression.”