German police have launched a wide-ranging campaign of raids in recent days against a Turkish association linked to ISIS, according to Reuters.
The German newspaper Bild stated that about 800 members of the police’s special forces searched targets in the Märkisches Viertel, Neukölln, Wedding and Tiergarten districts of Berlin.
Turkish associations in Germany
According to Bild, Turkish intelligence is active in Germany behind groups of up to 15 Islamic societies registered in Germany operating under the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB).
DITIB works according to the political Islamist agenda associated with the Brotherhood and aims to Islamize society in Germany through religious education in schools, domination of mosques and Islamic centers, and support for Turkey’s hidden policies against Germany and against the Turkish opposition.
DITIB is the largest Muslim religious association in Germany, operating 970 mosques in the German states and participating in setting the curriculum of Islamic lessons in most German schools.
Bild confirmed that, during the past two years, the German government has lifted support for all German Islamic associations after it became clear to them that these associations supported terrorism in their country.
Tawhid Berlin group launches attacks
According to the German newspaper Der Spiegel, the Ministry of the Interior in the state of Berlin directed strikes against the Tawhid Berlin group after it was confirmed through evidence obtained from numerous investigations that it was preparing to launch a series of terrorist operations in Germany during the coming period.
In press statements to that newspaper, Berlin State Interior Minister Andreas Geisel said that Tawhid Berlin called for armed jihad and launching attacks against civilians, adding that Germany does not tolerate any Islamist association that helps spread terrorism in the country.
According to Bild, after the Berlin attack in December 2016, the German authorities intensified their monitoring of the extremist scene in Germany and launched preemptive attacks against terrorist cells affiliated with ISIS.
By the end of 2018, the authorities spotted a new channel on Telegram under the name “Jama’at Berlin”. Later, a YouTube channel and a page on Instagram with the same name appeared.
During this period, Abu Omar was the leader of the group, meeting his followers periodically in his apartment in Berlin, giving lectures on extremist ideas, and inciting his followers against the Germans.
Abu Omar was not new to the extremist scene in Germany, as he had been known to the German authorities since 2015 and used to be present in the Fussilet Mosque in Berlin, which was known as the “People of ISIS” mosque.
According to a report by Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Abu Omar and Tawhid Berlin categorically reject the democratic system and the rule of law, describing parliaments as “invalid”.
After the killing of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Tawhid Berlin mourned him on their social media accounts.
The group has a membership of 20 people, and it has a separate branch for women, whose leader works to spread extremism among women and prepares some of them to marry male extremists, according to Bild.
The newspaper confirmed that one of the prominent members of the group was known to the police and had a strong relationship with Anis Amri, who carried out a suicide attack in Berlin in December 2016.