IS terrorist militia banned in Germany

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Fight against terrorism IS terrorist militia banned in Germany

The activities of the terrorist organisation "Islamic State" have been banned with immediate effect in Germany. The ban covers any involvement in the organisation including social media and demonstrations, as well as the acquisition of funds and recruiting of fighters, announced Federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Berlin.

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Salafists demonstrate at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

The ban is to prevent religion and religious symbols being misused, said Minister

Photo: picture alliance / Wolfram Stein

"The use in public of any symbols of the ‘Islamic State’ is also prohibited with immediate effect. It is prohibited to campaign for the IS, show its symbols, or support it in any way, including the acquisition of cash and materials as well as the recruiting of combatants," said the Federal Minister of the Interior. Any violation of this ban is a criminal act, he said.

The terrorist organisation "Islamic State" is a threat – also to public security in Germany, said the Minister. "Today we have taken a decisive step to counter that threat."

Inhuman propaganda

The terrorist organisation "Islamic State" calls on people around the globe to become involved in the war in Syria and Iraq, and to swear loyalty to the organisation’s leaders, explained the Minister. In Germany too, this inhuman propaganda can be accessed on the internet.

Thomas de Maizière added, "The terrorist organisation ‘Islamic State’ campaigns specifically and aggressively in Germany to attract recruits. It calls on young men and women in Germany to come to the area of the Jihad, to fight and to murder. For some time now we have been concerned by the movements of radicalised young men and women (Jihadists) from Germany and other European states towards Syria and Iraq."

Of the 400 or so young people who have already left Germany, a large number have entered the area that is the power base of the terrorist organisation. There are indications that more than 40 individuals have lost their lives, some as suicide bombers in Iraq.

Returnees with combat experience

More than 100 Islamists have returned so far, many of them frustrated, but with combat experience. "They have learned to hate and to kill. They are networked, well trained, and possibly willing to share their knowledge with other followers."

Thomas de Maizière stressed that, "We must stop these radicalised fighters from bringing their Jihad into our towns and cities. And we must also stop men and women from Germany fighting on the side of the terrorist 'Islamic State against Kurds, Yezidis, Christians and Muslims."

Recognising radicalisation at an early stage

"Germany is a democracy that can defend itself – there is no place here for a terrorist organisation like the ‘Islamic State’ that opposes our constitutional order," stressed the Minister of the Interior. Despite the ban, though, there is an urgent need to explore why these young men and women turn to radicalism. Security bodies alone cannot win the fight against Islamic radicalisation.

Radicalisation is often a process that goes unnoticed, that individuals go through privately, alone or through the internet. That is why everybody, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, are called on. "It is important for us to understand the factors that foster radicalisation. We must be in a position to recognise them at an early stage so that we can act in time."

Important step for liberty and security in Germany

"Today’s ban is an important step forwards in the fight against international terrorism, an important step for liberty and security in Germany. It addresses only terrorists who hijack religion for their own criminal purposes," said de Maizière.

"Muslims throughout the world oppose the barbaric terror spread by the terrorist organisation ‘Islamic State’," declared de Maizière. These include the large umbrella organisations of Muslims in Germany. They condemn the way the organisation misuses their religion and damage the standing of Islam.

This is a good sign and an important sign, said de Maizière. "Today’s ban will make it harder for extremists and terrorists close to the terrorist organisation ‘Islamic State’ to misuse religion and religious symbols. That is in the interests of Muslims living here. That strengthens the cohesion of our society. That strengthens liberty and law," concluded the Minister of the Interior.

The terrorist organisation "Islamic State" threatens people of different faiths with death. Volunteers from Germany and other European states have joined the IS militias. IS is endeavouring to recruit followers in Germany, primarily through social networks. The ban on the "Islamic State" is based on Article 3, Paragraph 1 in conjunction with Article 15 Paragraph 1 and Article 18 Sentence 2 of the German Associations Act (Vereinsgesetz), since the organisation opposes the constitutional order and the idea of international understanding. The Federal Interior Minister has banned the public use of IS symbols at meetings, in written documents, recordings or images, illustrations or presentations.