Germany bans activities in support of ISIS: Minister

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany said Friday it had prohibited activities in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has captured a swathe of Iraq and Syria, warning the "terrorist" group also posed a threat in Europe.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said the immediate ban included the recruitment of jihadist fighters, the public display of ISIS symbols and signs and social media propaganda.

"Germany is a well-fortified democracy, there's no place here for a terrorist organisation which opposes the constitutional order as well as the notion of international understanding," he said in a statement. The radical Islamist group, which has committed horrifying atrocities in Iraq and Syria, is also a public security threat in Germany, Mr De Maiziere said, adding: "We are resolutely confronting this threat today."

The move, which had been called for by lawmakers from different parties, covers all activities on German soil, including via social media, to support or promote the group at demonstrations or by trying to gather fighters or funding.

ISIS is also active in Germany in terms of "propaganda and agitating" on the Internet and "specifically courts supporters in the German language", the minister said.

Germany made a watershed decision last month to send arms to Iraqi Kurds battling ISIS jihadist militants.

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the move to break with a post-war policy of refusing to send weapons into conflict zones by saying Europe's own security was at stake.