World Bulletin/News Desk
German police arrested two Turkish citizens suspected of supporting terror networks in Syria in a large operation against alleged radicals in Berlin.
Some 250 police officers, including SWAT units, took part in the sweep and raided 11 properties early Friday morning, targeting a network allegedly close to the ISIL, Berlin police said in a written statement.
Ismet D., 41, was arrested on suspicion of leading the group, which allegedly consisted of Chechens and Dagestanis, police said.
Emin F., 43, was arrested on suspicion of providing funds for the group.
Three other Turkish citizens held in the raids were released.
Berlin police spokesman Stefan Redlich told local media: "Those arrested are suspected of radicalizing and recruiting people to join war in Syria, and organizing their travel to this country.
"They are also suspected of providing night-vision goggles and also money for the terrorist groups in Syria."
He said that there were no indications that the group planned an attack in Germany and investigations were continuing.
The German government banned all activities in the country conducted on behalf of ISIL, including propaganda, logistical or financial support, in September last year following reports of violent murders and atrocities committed by the group in Syria and Iraq.
German security organizations estimate that about 550 Germans, mostly young immigrants from Salafist groups, have travelled to Syria and joined ISIL since the beginning of the civil war.
About 6,000 Salafists are active in Germany, according to the Interior Ministry – a number which accounts for a very small minority of the Muslim population.
Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe, after France. Among the four million Muslims in the country, three million are of Turkish origin.
Germany’s leading Muslim organizations say the source of the radicalization of some young immigrants is not Islam itself, but sociological problems they face, such as discrimination, unemployment or a lack of future prospects.
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