In a move that many will say was long overdue, if rather ironic considering it was Germany’s lax immigration policy for most of 2015 that is the reason for Europe’s soaring “radical Islam” crisis, overnight German police and special forces raided a mosque and eight apartments in Hildesheim, said to be a hotbed of a radical Salafist community, the interior minister of the northern state of Lower Saxony said on Thursday.
Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement that up to 400 police – including mobile squads and a special forces police commando – were involved in the raids on Wednesday in the Hildesheim area, which is a short drive south of Hanover.
As the Mail adds, armed police officers launched a raid on a mosque and several homes belonging to a group believed to be radicalising Muslims in Germany.
Apartments belonging to eight board members of the radical German-speaking Islamic group DIK were searched by officers in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony.
It comes as part of a crackdown on the group, which is thought to have been encouraging people to travel to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS.
The group ran sermons, seminars and lectures entitled ‘the hatred of infidels’, according to German media.
“The German-speaking Islamic circle (DIK) in Hildesheim is a nationwide hot-spot of the radical Salafist scene that Lower Saxony security authorities have been monitoring for a long time,” the state official said. Pistorius said the search followed months of planning and was an important step toward banning the association, which security authorities say has radicalized Muslims and encouraged them to take part in jihad in combat zones.
Moments ago, even Angela Merkel, ostensibly the person most responsible for Europe’s refugee crisis, slammed terrorist immigrants, accusing them of “mocking the country that let them in.”
BREAKING: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says refugees carrying out attacks ‘mock the country that took them in’
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 28, 2016
Well, not so much the country, as the person who made the decision to let them in…
Meanwhile, back to Lower Saxony where Reuters reports that numerous members of the mosque were said to have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic State, while sermons, seminars and speeches call for “hate against non-believers,” the ministry said.
Germany has seen sharp increases in the number of ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafists in recent years, with the total number of sympathizers now seen at 8,900, up from 7,000 at the end of 2014, German officials have said. Security authorities say the DIK in Hildesheim is believed to have become the focal point of Salafist activities in Lower Saxony, the second-largest of Germany’s 16 states after Bavaria.
“We will not put up with Salafist associations and their backers flouting our rules and bringing our rule of law into question and convincing young people that they want to join the so-called IS,” Pistorius said.
“I’m convinced that our freedom is stronger than the inhuman ideology of the extremists,” he added.
Germany remains on high alert after a spate of attacks since July 18 left 15 people dead – including four attackers – and dozens injured. Two assailants, a Syrian asylum seeker and a refugee from either Pakistan or Afghanistan, had links to Islamist militancy, officials say.
That said, we find it somewhat troubling that these crackdowns begin just days after Germany unveiled plans to use the army during upcoming terrorist attacks. Overnight we reported that Bavaria’s interior minister Joachim Hermann suggested that Germany’s army (Bundeswehr) could be used to aid police in dealing with major terror threats, adding that “the debate over whether to deploy the Bundeswehr domestically should not wait “until the next attack happens.” Additionally, German lawmakers are also discussing the possibility of establishing “troops of reservists” to aid police during internal crisis situations.