Germany mounts raids against Islamists in three cities
German authorities on Tuesday mounted raids against Islamic extremist groups suspected of seeking to overthrow the government and establish a religious state, the interior ministry said.
The searches targeted sites linked to Salafi jihadist groups Invitiation to Paradise (EZP) in the western cities of Braunschweig and Moenchengladbach and the Islamic Cultural Center Bremen (IKZB) in northern Germany.
"The EZP and the IKZB are accused of opposing the constitutional order with the aim of replacing it in Germany with an Islamic religious state," the ministry said in a statement.
It said it saw no link to warnings of potential impending terrorist attacks issued last month by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, adding that the raids were planned long in advance.
The groups reject parliamentary democracy and believe that Islamic law should replace the constitution.
"In a well-fortified democracy it is advisable and necessary not to wait for jihad in the form of an armed struggle before taking action against anti-constitutional groups," the ministry said.
© 2010 AFP