Germany: Raids against Turkish-Arab Associations on Suspicion of Links to ISIS

The German police launched, Thursday morning, a massive raids campaign against the headquarters of Turkish and Arab societies, suspected of having links with extremists, in the capital Berlin and the state of Brandenburg.

“About 800 members of the special forces in the police conducted a raid campaign and searched targets and headquarters in the Markis Wertel, Neukölln Wedding and Tiergarten areas in the capital Berlin,” the German newspaper Bild quoted security sources as saying, adding that there were also raids in the district of Brandenburg.

The raids are related to the implementation of a ban order against a Turkish-Arab association, which the authorities suspect of being close to ISIS, according to the sources quoted by the newspaper.

In conjunction with the campaign, on its official Twitter account, the Ministry of the Interior said that it had banned the “Unification of Berlin” association.

The Bild newspaper also quoted informed sources that at least one of the members of the “Unification of Berlin” association is known to the police and has a close relationship with Anis Amri, who attacked the Christmas market in the German capital, Berlin, in 2016.

It is noteworthy that Germany was target of several attacks by Islamist militants in 2016, including an attack in Berlin in December, in which a Tunisian shot dead a Polish truck driver before he ran over 11 people with the truck.

The German raids campaign came one day after the Supreme Regional Court in the German city of Tseeleh issued a sentence of 10 and a half years in prison on the Iraqi preacher Abu Walaa, on charges of belonging to a foreign terrorist organization, financing terrorism, and helping to prepare for violent acts and recruitment to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The German judiciary also sentenced three other defendants close to Abu Wala to prison terms ranging between four and eight years.

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