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Bremen Islamic Centre sues police over raid

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Mohammad Omar Habibzada of IKZ Bremen. Photo: DPA
15:50 CET+01:00
After Bremen Muslims said that raids and heightened police presence over a terror alert had made them feel excluded from society, a mosque raided by the authorities announced plans to sue over the search.

A spokesman for Schura Bremen, a federation of the city-state's Muslims, told The Local that Muslims had been disheartened by the raid on the mosque.

Rather than jumping straight into raids, he said, police should try “speaking eye-to-eye with social organizations, including the Islamic Federation” as a longer-term way to fight extremism.

The Islamic Culture Centre in Bremen (IKZ) said in a press conference on Tuesday evening that it would launch legal proceedings against police after the storming of the mosque last Saturday.

“We're being put into the stocks publicly even though we aren't charged with anything,” said IKZ chairman Mohammad Omar Habibzada.

“We live totally normally in Bremen, we are normal neighbours, our children go to school together. We are just believers,” Habibzada told journalists at a press conference.

He also complained that politicians and the media had created a negative image of muslims in the public imagination by over-using the term "Salafist".

IKZ representatives showed journalists broken doors kicked in by police and brought forward four witnesses who were at the scene when the raid took place.

Court documents deposited by the IKZ's lawyer at the Bremen local court reveal that a 39-year-old Lebanese man arrested last weekend had bought automatic weapons in October and distributed them to people linked to the Culture Centre.

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No weapons were found at the Culture Centre itself.

SEE ALSO: Police wind down Bremen terror response

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