Frankfurt Mosque Video Violent, Police Say | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 16.07.2004
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Frankfurt Mosque Video Violent, Police Say

Frankfurt police confirmed that a video seized during a raid at a mosque is violent and glorifies war. Separately, authorities searched another Islamic group in Cologne on suspicion it was being used by extremists.

German police are on high alert following the raids

German police are on high alert following the raids

Frankfurt police spokesman Peter Liebeck was clear that the video was far from harmless.

"What is shown on the video is in our view inciting people," Liebeck said in a radio interview Thursday. "It shows how corpses are glorified and the Holy War exalted."

Moschee in Frankfurt durchsucht

A police car drives past the Al-Taqwa mosque in Frankfurt

The video with degrading images surfaced following a raid in a Frankfurt mosque and Moroccan cultural center on Sunday. Police seized computers, videos and documents.

The particular violent video was apparently the basis for the search. Liebeck said the video was bought by someone, who claimed he purchased it in the Al-Taqwa cultural center.

"We heard about it and took that as the basis for our decision to conduct a raid," Liebeck said.

The police spokesman stressed it was not illegal in Germany to own the video, but it is unlawful to disseminate such material.

"Holy War against non-believers"

The raid of the al Taqwa cultural center located near the main railway station in Frankfurt on Sunday involved around 120 policemen.

Prosecutors said earlier that the raid occurred after a 9-year-old student told her teacher that she and other children were shown violent videos during their Islamic class. They called for a "holy war against non-believers," including one featuring a beheading, according to the student.

Frankfurt's Office for Multicultural Affairs however defended the mosque on Thursday.

"This mosque has been a model of integration and has been working with us for at least the past six years," Albrecht Magen, director of the office told The Associated Press. "They even organized street demonstrations protesting the bombing attack in Madrid, so this raid really surprised me."

Plans to build terror cell foiled

Separately, police in Cologne on Thursday raided the offices of an Islamic cultural association, the associated al Tauhid mosque and a private apartment in the city on suspicion they were being used by extremists to plot attacks.

The search apparently focuses on a group of 10 men and women ranging in age from 22 to 35, who are suspected of attempting to create a logistics cell. "There is the suspicion that those concerned built a secret network of Arabic mujahedeen," a police statement said.

Cologne's immigration authorities had informed police in November last year that several Turkish and Moroccan nationals had applied to live with a 28-year-old Moroccan in the apartment that was raided. The Cologne cultural association raided is said to be the center for a hardline version of Islamic teaching.

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