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Three suspects arrested yesterday for plotting to murder the leader of a far-right political party hold German passports and the fourth suspect is an Albanian. Raids yesterday on some 20 apartments belonging to Salafists did not result in any arrests, but laptops, cash, propaganda material, and phones were confiscated. One of the Salafist groups banned yesterday is suspected of helping to fund Islamist groups in Syria.
Authorities banned three radical Islamist groups -- DawaFFM, Islamic Audios, and al-Nussrah -- and raided 21 apartments and a meeting room. The three groups all encourage fighting against those who do not follow the Salafist version of Islam. The German Salafist movement has grown from some 3,800 In 2011 to about 4,500, of whom 30% are non-Germans and 25% are Muslim converts. Four Salafists were arrested last night for planning the murder of a far-right political party leader.
A German-language jihadist propaganda video has surfaced, featuring a Syrian Islamist fighter named Hajan M. who urges Germans to come fight with rebels in Syria. Authorities say the number of Salafists in North Rhine-Westphalia has doubled within a year to 1,000 men, including about 100 who are trained jihadists. The Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) estimates that 900 people with "Islamist-terrorist potential" are in Germany, including 250 who have completed paramilitary training abroad.
The government approved the deployment of some 330 troops to Mali; up to 180 of them will participate in the European Union training mission. Two Iranian men were charged in Frankfurt state court with smuggling dozens of German-made motors to Iran for its Ababil III drone, which is used for both surveillance and attacks.
German intelligence confirmed that Abu Azzam, a German believed to be a radical Salafist who moved to Egypt last year, posted a video threatening to kill Chancellor Merkel and blow up the Reichstag. The jihadist's threats were made in the name of Osama bin Laden and also included a threat to US President Obama.