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German state raids, shuts mosque for ‘backing IS’

German authorities today raided, shuttered and banned a Muslim association and mosque they accused of supporting the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria and Iraq.

Police in the southwestern city of Stuttgart searched the site and delivered a notice that the centre had been disbanded and its property confiscated, said the interior minister of Baden-Wurttemberg state, Reinhold Gall.

“We do not tolerate associations that advocate the use of violence to promote religious concerns and collect donations for terrorist groups,” said Gall, without reporting any arrests.

He charged that radical preachers and fundamentalist Islamists, mainly from western Balkan states, had frequented the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre Mesdschid Sahabe.

Of about 50 people who had travelled to Syria from Baden-Wuerttemberg to join the fighting, at least 10 had been visitors of the mosque, and three of them had since died, he said.

The centre had previously been raided in March, when police confiscated computers, data storage devices, smartphones and documents as evidence, said the minister in a statement.

“The association supports, in the form of the so-called Islamic State, an Islamist group that carries out religiously-motivated attacks against persons and property,” Gall charged.

“Through the association, donations have been collected for terrorist groups and fighters recruited for the conflict in Syria. In addition, the association and its members glorify jihad and religiously motivated terrorism.