Germany bans aiding ISIL: Minister

Germany bans aiding ISIL: Minister

BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
Germany bans aiding ISIL: Minister

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere arrives for a cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin. The German government hopes a ban on the Islamic State announced on Sept. 12 will help prevent it from recruiting young jihadists in Germany, especially via the internet, or from using combat-hardened fighters returning to Europe to carry out attacks. REUTERS Photo

Germany said Sept. 12 it had prohibited activities in support of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has captured a swathe of Iraq and Syria, warning the "terrorist" group also posed a threat in Europe.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the immediate ban included the recruitment of jihadist fighters, the public display of ISIL symbols and signs and social media propaganda.

"Germany is a well-fortified democracy, there's no place here for a terrorist organisation which opposes the constitutional order as well as the notion of international understanding," he said in a statement.

The radical Islamist group, which has committed horrifying atrocities in Iraq and Syria, is also a public security threat in Germany, De Maiziere said, adding: "We are resolutely confronting this threat today."

The move, which had been called for by lawmakers from different parties, covers all activities on German soil, including via social media, to support or promote the group at demonstrations or by trying to gather fighters or funding.

ISIL is also active in Germany in terms of "propaganda and agitating" on the Internet and "specifically courts supporters in the German language", the minister said.

Germany made a watershed decision last month to send arms to Iraqi Kurds battling ISIL jihadist militants.        

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the move to break with a post-war policy of refusing to send weapons into conflict zones by saying Europe's own security was at stake.