German police raid homes of radical Salafists
BERLIN - Reuters
Policemen stand in front of the house of Salafist preacher Ibrahim Abou Nagie on June 14, 2012 in Cologne, western Germany. AFP photo
About 1,000 police raided dozens of buildings across Germany early today in a crackdown on radical Salafist Islamists suspected of plotting against the state.
Announcing the crackdown, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he had banned one of the Salafists' groups called the Millatu Ibrahim and said the raids may unearth evidence that would allow the outlawing of two other associations.
"(The Millatu Ibrahim group) works against our constitutional order," he told reporters.
German authorities have recently stepped up their monitoring of ultra-conservative Salafist groups following a series of violent clashes with police.
Salafists in Germany came into spotlight after Ibrahim Ebu Nagi, a Salafi Muslim of Palestinian descent, had begun his “Lies!” campaign to distribute Islam's holy book in Oct. 2011. The campaign had distributed over 300,000 books in 35 German cities, and was funded largely by Turkish families living in Germany.
German politicians had initiated a counter-campaign to end the distribution, saying the “Quran in every house" campaign should be stopped. The Islamic organization’s move threatens religious freedom, a member of the Christian Democratic Union Party had said.