RealNews

German Police Raid Islamic Organization

Police raided the home of an Islamic militant as part of a nationwide sweep Thursday against members of his banned organization, seizing weapons and making five arrests during searches of nearly 1,200 homes. The pre-dawn operation involved 5,500 officers and targeted sympathizers of Caliphate State, a group seeking the overthrow of Turkey’s secular government, the Federal Criminal Office said. Germany outlawed the organization in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Authorities searched the Cologne home of Muhammed Metin Kaplan, the group’s founder. Kaplan was home at the time, but police did not arrest him. Witnesses said officers seized a computer and documents. Interior Minister Otto Schily said Caliphate State members were violating the German government’s December 2001 order disbanding the group, and that the raids were aimed mainly at subscribers of the organization’s underground newsletter. Schily, Germany’s top security official, has described Caliphate State, which calls for establishing an Islamic state in Turkey, as a breeding ground for Islamic terrorists. “With today’s searches, we have stopped successor activities,” Schily said, emphasizing that the raid sent “a clear warning” to other Islamic extremists in Germany. Full Story

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