blue mosque istanbul 58.
(photo credit: Elana Kirsh)
German authorities closed a Hamburg mosque once frequented by Sept. 11 attackers Monday, believing the prayer house was again being used as a meeting point for Islamic
The Taiba mosque was closed and the cultural association that runs it
was banned, Hamburg officials said in a statement.
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"We have closed the mosque because it was a recruiting and meeting point
for Islamic radicals who wanted to participate in so-called jihad or
holy war," said Frank Reschreiter, a spokesman for Hamburg's state
He said that 20 police officers were searching the building and had
confiscated material, including several computers. He was not aware of
Authorities have said the prayer house, formerly known as the al-Quds
mosque, years ago was a meeting and recruiting point for some of the
Sept. 11 attackers before they moved to the United States.
Reschreiter said it was the first time the mosque had been closed, and
that it had been under observation by local intelligence officers for
"quite a long time."
A 2009 report by the Hamburg branch of Germany's domestic intelligence
agency also said the mosque had again become the "center of attraction
for the jihad scene" in the northern port city.
It said some people who belonged to the mosque's cultural association
and prayed there had traveled to a radical training camp in Uzbekistan.
A group of 11 militants that traveled to military training camps in
Uzbekistan in March 2009 was formed at Taiba mosque, the report said.
Most of the group's members were either German converts, of Middle
Eastern origin or from the Caucasus region.
"A very important factor for the radicalization of the group members was
certainly their joint visits to the mosque," the intelligence report
It appears that one man from the group joined the Islamic Movement of
Uzbekistan, a terrorist organization in Central Asia, the report said.