Sat, Dec 3, 2016 | updated 03:49 AM IST

Extremist group linked to ISIS fighters active in UK

Updated: Nov 18, 2016 15:36 IST

London [UK], Nov. 18 (ANI): Members of an extremist group banned in Germany for inspiring more than 140 ISIS fighters with its ideology are active in the United Kingdom and seeking to recruit followers in Britain's largest cities.

The German Police launched almost 200 raids across the country at mosques, offices and homes linked to Die Wahre Religion (DWR) movement, meaning "The True Religion", this week but British security forces remain powerless to do the same, reports the Independent.

Announcing the prohibition earlier on Tuesday, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said that these members were spreading "hate and anti-constitutional messages, stirring up "militant and aggressive attitudes" among its predominantly young audience, including calls to wage jihad and reject democracy in favour of the DWR's Salafist interpretation of Islam under the cover of a Quran distribution campaign.

"After taking part in DWR activities, more than 140 young individuals so far have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join in the fighting by terrorist groups," he said.

But the prohibition extends only to Germany, and thus, the DWR's British affiliate can continue its campaigns untroubled unless the UK adds it to its list of proscribed terrorist organisations.

Ibrahim Abou-Nagie, the Cologne-based cleric founded who founded DWR with Islamist Pierre Vogel, has been labelled a hate preacher in Germany, being previously investigated on allegations of disturbing peace, encouraging criminal acts and incitement to murder.

Nagie, 52, who has also been convicted of welfare fraud and misusing charitable donations in Germany, is currently believed to be in Malaysia.

Germany has banned the DWR and all its activities, including the prominent "Lies!" or "Read!" Quran distribution campaign, which has spread to countries including the UK, France, Spain and Brazil where members at branded stalls hand out hardline translations of the text in busy shopping areas.

The Read! campaign regularly broadcasts its activities, showing members handing out Quran translations, "converting" passers-by to Islam and debating the religion in busy shopping areas across the UK.

The British authorities have declined to comment on whether they were considering proscribing the group under the Terrorism Act 2000, which is used to ban groups that commit, prepare for, promote, encourage or glorify acts of terrorism.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said that the police was powerless to arrest DWR supporters or stop their events in London unless the legal step was taken. (ANI)