In a series of dawn raids on the morning of Nov. 15, German police stormed mosques, apartments, and offices linked to an Islamist organization accused of radicalizing young people.
Reuters reports that the Die wahre Religion (DWR) "True Religion" group urged adherents to join ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria. According to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, about 140 had done so.
Prior to the raids, the German government issued a ban on the group. The ban was designed in such a way that it could not be overturned by the courts.
De Maiziere said that the ban is "directed against the abuse of religion by people propagating extremist ideologies and supporting terrorist organizations under the pretext of Islam."
In response to the ban, DWR declared in an online post that "Germany has banned the Koran," reports Zero Hedge.
In response to that allegation, de Maiziere said: "Today's ban is not directed against the distribution of the Koran or translations of the Koran."
"The translations of the Koran are being distributed along with messages of hatred and unconstitutional ideologies. Teenagers are being radicalized with conspiracy theories."
DWR has distributed about 3.5 million copies of the Koran in Germany. Some cities had previously banned them from distributing free Korans at infostands. Activists continued their distribution out of backpack and bags.
Reuters reports that Hans-Georg Maassen, head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, says that there's evidence that suggests the Korans distributed by DWR were paid for by a foundation in Bahrain. He declined to provide further details.
"The decisive issue now," said Maassen, "is that the evidence has to be examined to understand how the organization funded itself and who else was behind it as supporters and financiers, so that we can take additional measures."
The raids were carried out across 10 German states and constitute the largest action against any group since 2001, when the government shut down an organization called Kalifatstaat, or Caliphate State.
Germans who fear the influx of Muslim migrants have thrown their support behind the populist Alternative for Germany party, which claims that Islam is incompatible with the constitution. Alternative for Germany has poached supporters from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party.