By Lorenza Formicola
Germany restarts with the mosques. It is the message that anti-terrorism is sending to a country that is beginning to pay dear the policies of the last five years about immigration. So, on Monday night, a Berlin mosque was searched by the police due to a terrorist investigation looking for links between the mosques and Middle East.
Nobody was arrested but one of the mosque’s preachers was searched, and will continue to be interrogated in the next hours, because he was suspected of transferring funds to an Islamic militant in Syria in order to carry out “terrorist attacks”.
The suspect, whose name has been secreted for obvious reasons, is accused of having purchased “military equipment for terrorist criminal acts”. The state criminal police, intelligence services and special police forces cooperated with the raid.
As-Sahaba mosque is under the surveillance of Germany’s internal intelligence agency and is considered an important meeting point for members of the German Salafist radical scene. Founded in 2010 by the German-Egyptian Islamist Reda Seyam, who was also accused of taking part in a terrorist attack in Bali, and who left Germany to travel to Syria to become a “minister of education” of the terrorist group Islamic State.
But there is not only the mosque at the center of the anti-terrorist viewfinder of the German capital in the last days.
In fact, the criminal gangs of Arab origin of Berlin have long earned the infamous first place in terms of violence and robbery; now, warns the police, “we are forced to monitor the recruitment attempts they have put standing by involving the new generation of refugees “.
The Islamic gangs IN Berlin, long mythologized by rappers and TV series because of the codes of honor and patriarchal structures, are radicalizing new followers among the more than one million asylum seekers to whom Germany, since 2015, has opened the doors. Half of them from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the police, they are “young and strong men, who arrived alone in Germany and who have not yet had to deal with the justice system”. And above they are dedicated to building a parallel Muslim society.
The wave of migration, which peaked three years ago, fueled a heated debate about integration efforts and crimes committed by foreigners, which focused attention on the gangs and raised questions about why the Berlin police has been wandering for so long.
The most famous German rapper, Bushido, has long boasted of his close ties with the Islamic gang of Berlin, but then take distance and with his wife denounce the creation of a real “parallel society of a mobster-style violence” right here in Germany “.
Among them also many Palestinians. Like Rabih, a Palestinian born in Lebanon, who had climbed the top of the hierarchy of the criminal underworld in Berlin, and that despite the hundreds of crimes attributed to him and a decade spent behind German bars, he had repeatedly avoided extradition, even when Lebanon refused to give him his passport. A few days after his death in Berlin was made a mural that portrayed him as an Islamic martyr fighter.
Meanwhile, the German press publishes editorials of sociologists who denounce the history of the Berlin gangs as a warning about failed integration. And that are traced back to the wave of refugees in the 80s, made up of Palestinians, members of the Arab and Kurdish minorities of Turkey. The various generations of immigrants today manage a large part of the often illegal economy of Berlin.
The Berlin police is sorry for having long neglected the problem – something that political scientist Ralph Ghadban attributes to the “fear of stigmatizing and discriminating against certain minorities”.
“We are taking a step forward,” said Interior Minister Andreas Geisel – “We are ruining their fun in Berlin”, trying to cheer up the Germans.