German police staged a series of raids Wednesday in an investigation of nine German citizens suspected of trying to win over converts to their radical version of Islam, prosecutors said.
Munich prosecutors said police searched 16 properties in various parts of the country, including the apartments of the suspects, looking for incriminating publications and other evidence.
Prosecutors said the nine German suspects aged between 25 and 47 have been active since September 2005. None were identified. Most of them are of immigrant origin, prosecutors said, but they did not elaborate.
They said the group originated in the southern town of Neu-Ulm, at the Multi-Kultur-Haus — an Islamic center that Bavarian authorities shut in December 2005, charging that it threatened the coexistence of Germans and foreigners as well as security in the country.
A statement from prosecutors said the suspects' aim was "to Islamicize and radicalize Muslims and non-Muslims — particularly Germans who have converted to Islam."
It added that they were suspected of trying to encourage those people's "readiness for Jihadist activities at home and abroad. The suspects were accused of using radical literature, audio and video material, Islam seminars and Internet discussion forums.
Prosecutors said Wednesday's raids were aimed above all at finding "criminally relevant publications."
Source: IHT (English)