Germany bans Muslim group over alleged terror donations

BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Wednesday banned a Muslim organization that it accused of supporting “terrorism globally with its donations.”

Police raided buildings associated with Ansaar International in 10 German states, the German Interior Ministry said in a statement. The ministry alleged the money the organization collected ostensibly went into welfare projects as a ruse to help finance groups such as the Syrian al-Qaida affiliate known as the Nusra Front, the Palestinian group Hamas and al-Shabab in Somalia.

“The organization Ansaar International and its suborganizations were banned. The network finances terrorism globally with its donations,” an Interior Ministry spokesperson tweeted.

More than 1,000 police officers raided buildings and office spaces across Germany and confiscated about 150,000 euros ($180,000).

“When wanting to fight terrorism, one needs to dry out its money sources,” German Interior Ministry Horst Seehofer said. He alleged that Ansaar International “spreads a Salafist view of the world and is financing terror around the globe under the disguise of humanitarian help.”

A man who answered a phone call to the organization’s headquarters in the western German city of Duesseldorf immediately hung up when The Associated Press called seeking comment.

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