German mosque used by September 11 militants closed

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Monday, August 9, 2010

File photo of a German mosque. Hamburg's Taiba mosque has been closed down under suspicion of militant activity. .
Image: Axel Mauruszat.

German authorities have closed a mosque in Hamburg that 9/11 plotters used for meetings, because authorities fear that it is being used again by Islamic extremists. The Taiba mosque, formerly known as the al-Quds mosque, was raided, closed and the association that runs it was also banned. Police officers confiscated computers and other material.

"We have closed the mosque because it was a recruiting and meeting point for Islamic radicals who wanted to participate in so-called jihad or holy war," Frank Reschreiter, a spokesman for Hamburg's state interior ministry, said. The spokesman also said that this was the first time the mosque had been shuttered and that for "quite a long time" it had been closely examined and watched by intelligence officers.

A May report by the Interior Ministry also said that the mosque "remains the central attraction for the Jihadist scene", and a 2009 Hamburg intellegence report stated that many people involved with the Taiba mosque had been getting training by radical Islamic groups, including a group of 11 people who traveled to military training camps at Uzbekistan in March of last year. Their militant group had been formed at the mosque, and the report stated that "a very important factor for the radicalization of the group members was certainly their joint visits to the mosque."