Police shut down 9/11 plotters’ mosque in Hamburg

Hamburg, Aug 9 (DPA) German police Monday shut down a mosque in Hamburg which gained notoriety as a meeting place for several plotters of the Sep 11 attacks on New York in 2001.

A city spokesman said that the Arabic cultural organization backing the Taiba Mosque in the city had been banned.

Police forced entry to the mosque in the early hours and searched the site, as well as the apartments of four governing committee members, confiscating material.

‘The mosque is being sealed. This will put an end to things,’ said Hamburg city Senator Christoph Ahlhaus, adding that the mosque had been a ‘focal point for the jihadist scene’ for many years.

The mosque, previously called Al-Quds Mosque, became known as a meeting point for several of the 9/11 plotters, including Mohammed Atta who led the suicide attacks.

Hamburg authorities had evidence that radical Islamists still met there. The city’s higher administrative court announced a ban on the mosque authorities July 30.

Recent events had suggested that the organization behind the mosque was hosting radicalizing sermons and seminars, as well as publishing such texts on their website, according to city authorities.

The ban was ultimately triggered when a group of jihadists from Hamburg were arrested in the Pakistani-Afghan border region early last year, said Lothar Bergman of Hamburg’s anti-terrorism unit.

These men are being investigated by state prosecutors.