German Police take action against Islamist and right-wing extremists
On 10 April, police in Germany took action against extremists. As many as 90 buildings associated with an Islamist network were searched in nine different states.
At the same time, a raid was undertaken in four eastern states that targeted right-wing extremists. Deutsche-Presse Agentur (DPA) reported that the raid against the Islamists involved 800 police officers, with most attention paid to the states of Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia.
The authorities have identified a core group of 15 Islamist activists. The German Interior Ministry said raids against them were undertaken in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin, Hamburg, Hessen, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Schleswig-Holstein.
The facilities searched including association spaces, private apartments and shops. Nobody was arrested.
According to security circles, suspicious associations in North Rhine-Westphalia alone have received more than EUR 12 million in recent years. At the top of the network, according to the German Interior Ministry, are the associations Ansaar International, which is headquartered in Düsseldorf, and the association World-Wide-Resistance-Help, headquartered in Neuss.
The members of both organizations are somewhat closely related to each other. The authorities assume, based on the current state of the investigation, that the organizations can be considered part of the extremist environment.
Authorities have identified a core group of 15 activists who are suspected of providing financial and propaganda support to Hamas, the Palestinian movement that is radical. The European Union, Israel, and the USA consider that Islamist movement, which governs the Gaza Strip, to be a terrorist organization.
The focal point of the operation against the right-wing extremists was in the second-biggest town in Brandenburg, Cottbus, according to the DPA. Police attempted to break up a right-wing extremist network through the large-scale raid.
In Brandenburg, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony more than 30 facilities were searched, including apartments, businesses and offices. The operation was focused on the football hooligan and martial arts scene.
Authorities suspect 20 persons in that scene of creating a criminal organization. Cottbus and its environs are considered a bastion of right-wing extremism in Brandenburg, where according to the authorities about 400 extreme-right adherents reside.
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