Germany: Terror cell planned attacks on mosques, 12 arrested

18th Feb 2020
Germany: Terror cell planned attacks on mosques, 12 arrested

BERLIN (AA):   A far-right terror cell planned attacks on six mosques across Germany but was dismantled by the police last week following a tip from an informant, local media reported on Monday.

The group’s leading figure Werner S. made concrete plans to attack politicians, refugees, and Muslims to provoke a civil-war-like situation in the country, German press agency DPA reported, based on information from investigators.

Twelve members of the group were arrested after a series of raids on Friday in the federal states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia, Rheinland-Palatinate, and Saxony Anhalt.

The Welt am Sonntag newspaper reported on Sunday that the group of German nationals dubbed their cell “Der harte Kern” (German for “The Hard Core”),

“It’s shocking what has been revealed here: that there are cells here that appear to have become radicalized in such a short space of time,” said Interior Ministry spokesman Björn Grünewälder. He said that in the current security situation, attacks on places of worship could not be ruled out, though the threat was “abstract.”

“It is the task of the state, and of course of this government, to protect the free practice of religion in this country, no matter what religion it is,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years, triggered by the propaganda of far-right parties.

Dozens of mosques across the country have received bomb threats, sparking worries among the country’s Muslim population.

Germany 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.

Additional report by The Muslim News

[Archive photo: Police cordon off Ehrenfeld area of Cologne at Cologne Central Mosque which had received bomb threats on 9 July 2019. Photographer: Mesut Zeyrek/AA]

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