German cops raid Berlin mosque in terrorism probe

Policemen in Berlin searching As-Sahaba mosque, where the cleric Abul Baraa preaches. He is suspected of sending money to an Islamist fighter in Syria "for purchasing military equipment", according to the General Prosecutor's Office. The mosque is sa
Policemen in Berlin searching As-Sahaba mosque, where the cleric Abul Baraa preaches. He is suspected of sending money to an Islamist fighter in Syria "for purchasing military equipment", according to the General Prosecutor's Office. The mosque is said to be an important meeting place for members of Germany's radical Salafist organisations.PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN • German police yesterday raided a mosque in Berlin whose preacher was suspected of transferring funds to an Islamist fighter in Syria for the purpose of carrying out "terrorist criminal acts", prosecutors said.

Officers searched the As-Sahaba mosque in Berlin's northern district of Wedding, where the 45-year-old Ahmad A. - known to followers as Abul Baraa - preaches, said the General Prosecutor's Office, according to Reuters.

There was no immediate comment from the cleric or any lawyer representing him.

He is suspected of sending money to the fighter in Syria "for purchasing military equipment", prosecutors said on Twitter.

The authorities did not say when the alleged money transfer took place.

No arrests were made, a spokesman for Berlin prosecutors told the Associated Press.

State criminal police, intelligence officers and special police forces also raided several other buildings in Berlin, reported Deutsche Welle.

The As-Sahaba mosque is under surveillance by Germany's domestic intelligence agency and is considered an important meeting place for members of Germany's radical Salafist organisations, according to the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.

The mosque was founded in 2010 by the German-Egyptian Islamist Reda Seyam, who is accused of taking part in a terror attack in Bali, according to the paper. He later left Germany to travel to Syria to become "education minister" for the militant Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group.

Germany is on high alert for militant attacks, two years after a Tunisian Islamist rammed a hijacked truck into a Christmas market in central Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 19, 2018, with the headline 'German cops raid Berlin mosque in terrorism probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe