BERLIN, February 25 (Reuters) – German authorities carried out raids at several locations in Berlin and Brandenburg on Thursday after banning Berlin’s Salafi Muslim group, police said.
Berlin’s senate interior department on Thursday said it had banned the “jihad-salafi” association Jama’atu Berlin, also known as the Berlin Tauhid, and that police had carried out the raid, without providing further details.
The German newspaper Tagesspiegel said the group glorified the battle for “Islamic State” on the internet and called for the killing of Jews, adding that criminal proceedings were awaiting decisions against some of its members.
The newspaper added that the group had been in contact with Anis Amri, a Tunisian asylum seeker who failed with Islamic ties, who hijacked a truck and took it to a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people in 2016.
Salafis – strict Sunni Muslims – include peaceful private individuals, activists seeking to implement Sharia law, and militants who advocate violence to establish a state they perceive to represent true Islam.
The number of Salafis has risen in Germany to an all-time high of 12,150 in 2019, Germany’s domestic intelligence said in its annual report last year, listing them among “Islamic extremists”.
It said the number of Salafis has more than tripled since 2011 and that Salafi groups in Germany are going through a consolidation stage, adding that followers remain a low profile in public. (Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Philippa Fletcher)