March 13, 2013 - 20:03 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - German authorities banned three ultraconservative Islamic groups Wednesday, March 13, including one whose Internet propaganda videos helped inspire the extremist who killed two American airmen at Frankfurt airport in 2011, the country's domestic intelligence chief said, according to The Associated Press.
Police launched early morning raids on 21 apartments and one meeting room belonging to DawaFFM, Islamic Audios and al-Nussrah — all of which adhere to the hardcore conservative Salafi interpretation of Islam.
The groups were largely involved in recruitment, fundraising and propaganda, including videos and other postings urging people to fight against those who did not believe in their version of Islam, said Hans-Georg Maassen, the head of Germany's domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
"These organizations are oriented against the basic right to freedom of religion — against Christians and other faiths including Shiites," Maassen said.
The Salafi movement in Germany has been growing quickly, attracting both Muslims and converts, primarily men between ages 20 and 30. In 2011 there were some 3,800 people Salafis known to authorities and there are now some 4,500.
Some 70 percent are Germans and 30 percent are non-Germans, coming from a variety of nations including Turkey, Morocco and Bosnia, according to a security official who was only allowed to discuss the figures on condition of anonymity. About a quarter are Muslim converts.