Police in Germany Close Mosque used by 9/11 Hijackers and Cultural Center
August 9, 2010
German 9/11 mosque closed
The Hamburg mosque used by the 9/11 gang during the planning phase of their terror attack has been shut down by police because of its links with Islamic extremists.
by Allan Hall in Berlin
Mohammed Atta, the ringleader of the gang which flew planes into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon outside Washington, was a regular worshipper at the mosque which German police believe has served as a recruiting centre for extremists over the years.
A cultural centre located close to the mosque was also shut down.
"Hamburg must not and will not become a cradle of violent Islamists," said Christoph Ahlhaus, Hamburg's interior minister.
"We closed the Taiba mosque because young men were being converted to religious fanatics there. A purported cultural association shamelessly exploited the freedoms of our democratic state under the rule of law to recruit for holy war behind the scenes. This cannot be tolerated.
"We have finally put an end to the spectre behind its walls. The association which ran it continuously promoted jihadist, aggressive and anti-democratic ideology and religious views.".
Stacks of paperwork, thought to link the worshippers at the mosque to Islamic militants, were taken away by police when it was raided shortly after dawn.
The homes of the mosque imams, the religious leaders, and officials of the cultural association were also raided and funds seized.
Hate-filled papers calling for the execution of "non believers" and other anti-western propaganda were also seized.
German intelligence officials have been warning the government for months that the country is poised to face a terror attack because of its involvement in Afghanistan.
Numerous radicalized Germans are known to have left the country to attend terror training camps on the Pakistan-Iraq border with the intention of returning to Germany to carry out attacks.
"This mosque was the main meeting point for Islamic extremists in the city," said a government spokesman,.
The BND intelligence service had information that a group of ten men who attended it travelled to attend terror camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan just four months ago.