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Mosque in SW Germany attacked for second time in two weeks

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Assailants target a mosque in Germany early on New Year’s Day for the second time in two weeks, inflicting material damages.

Assailants have targeted a mosque in Germany early on New Year’s Day for the second time in two weeks in the southwestern city of Baden-Wurttemberg, inflicting material damage to the place of worship.

Fatih Mosque in the town of Sontheim was attacked in the early hours of Friday by unknown assailants who broke windows and a wooden bank outside the mosque, run by the Turkish-Muslim umbrella group DITIB, said the chairman of the mosque’s foundation, Ali Ozdemir, Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency reported.

“In the recent two weeks, this has been the second attack on our mosque,” Ozdemir said, emphasizing that the anti-Muslim incident has raised fresh concerns among community members of the mosque and its foundation.

Information about the attack was reported to police authorities who launched an investigation into it, he said, noting that in the earlier act of vandalism against the worship center, a cross was painted on a wall inside the mosque.

This comes after German prosecutors charged 12 native Germans back in November with hatching a well-funded scheme to wage armed attacks against mosques in the European country with the intent of killing or injuring as many Muslims as possible.

“They aimed through attacks on mosques and the killing and wounding of as many Muslims as possible to create civil war-like conditions,” the prosecutors said in a public statement at the time.

They identified the suspects as 11 gang members and one accomplice – all German nationals between the ages of 31 and 61 – adding that they had met regularly to plan the terror attack with all but one pledging to contribute thousands euros towards a 50,000-euro scheme to finance the purchase of weapons for the plot.

Authorities further noted that cash sums in the “mid four-digit range” had been discovered in homes of the suspects.

The development came as Germany has recently witnessed a wave of attacks by far-right elements targeting minorities and refugees across the country.

The existence of far-right sympathizers has also been unveiled among Germany’s police and military forces.

Moreover, members of the so-called National Socialist Underground in the country were convicted in 2018 for a decade-long spree of murders of ethnic Turks, who are predominantly Muslim.

Also last September, more than 200 German police officers raided police stations and private homes to arrest 11 colleagues accused of spreading “repulsive” far-right propaganda in online chatrooms.

At the time, Herbert Reul, interior minister of Germany's most populous region North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), announced that the raids had targeted 34 police stations and private homes connected to the key suspects.

The suspected police officers are believed to have shared more than 100 neo-Nazi images in WhatsApp groups including swastikas, pictures of Adolf Hitler and a digitally altered image of a refugee in the gas chamber of a concentration camp.

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