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Four mosques receive bomb threats in Germany

26th Jul 2019
Four mosques receive bomb threats in Germany

Police cordon off streets and evacuated the complex of Cologne Central Mosque following a bomb threat, sent via e-mail, in Cologne, Germany on July 9
(Photo: Mesut Zeyrek/ Anadolu Agency)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Three mosques across Germany received email threats on July 11, and one received threats two days earlier, prompting officials to evacuate the buildings and increase the security measures.

Two mosques in the southern German state of Bavaria were evacuated after their staff received emails apparently from a far-right group which threatened to kill Muslims and demanded the release of its members from prison.The police searched the mosques in Pasing and Freimann but did not find anything suspicious. Another mosque in the northwestern city of Iserlohn also received a similar email on July 11 which claimed that explosives had been placed in the building.

Police evacuated the mosque, cordoned off streets in the area, and began searches with bomb-sniffing dogs.

Germany’s largest mosque in Cologne had also been the subject of a bomb threat on July 9.
The bomb threat was sent by a far-right group via e-mail on July 9, forced the evacuation of visitors and staff at Cologne Central Mosque, which is run by the Turkish-Muslim umbrella group the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB).

In September Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opened the mosque believed to be one of the largest in Europe. The headquarters of DITIB was also evacuated.
After searching the complex with bomb-sniffing dogs, the police found no bomb and the area was deemed safe.

Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years triggered by the propaganda of far-right parties, last month Eyup Sultan Mosque in Kamen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rahman Mosque in Bremen and a mosque in the central German city of Kassel were all targeted by anti-Muslim vandals.

More than 100 mosques and religious institutions were attacked by far-right extremists in 2018. A poll carried out last year by Leipzig-based Competence Center for Right-Wing Extremism and Democracy Research showed that 44 per cent Germans said they believed Muslims should be banned from migrating to the country. Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including insults, threatening letters and physical assaults.

At least 54 Muslims were injured in the attacks. Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin.

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