Germany bans Islamist organization after raids

Police officers seize evidence in a raid on The True Religion Islamist organization in Berlin on Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Around 200 sites were targeted in raids
  • Organization targeted led by preacher Ibrahim Abou-Nagie

Berlin (CNN)German authorities have banned an Islamist organization that they say is responsible for inspiring 140 youths to join the Syria conflict.

Germany Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere announced the ban on Tuesday after police carried out dawn raids on around 200 targets connected to The True Religion, a Salafist organization, across 10 states.
"As a federal minister, I today banned the organization called The True Religion," de Maiziere told reporters, adding that the ban addressed "the misuse of religion and extremist religions."
"We do not accept and won't tolerate" the acts of this network, de Maiziere said, adding that it glorified death and terror.
Salafist preacher Ibrahim Abou-Nagie was known for his campaign to distribute Korans to every household in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
Salafism is an ultrafundmentalist branch of Islam that is particularly prevalent in Saudi Arabia. It is intolerant of what its adherents consider "deviant" or mainstream Sunni Islam, including Islamic sects, such as Shia Islam, as well as other world religions.
The True Religion is led by prominent Salafist preacher Ibrahim Abou-Nagie, who was born in a refugee camp in Gaza and moved to Germany when he was 18. He later became a German national.
The raids targeted mosques, apartments, offices and storage halls. The main focuses of the raids were in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse and Hamburg, de Maiziere said.
In Berlin 200 officers took part in raids on 20 sites, Berlin police told CNN.
Police officers in front of the Al-Taqwa Mosque during a search in Hamburg, Germany, on Tuesday.