By August 10, 2014 Read More →

Holy War Arrives in Germany

germany herford

Supporters of the jihadist group “Islamic State” have clashed with Kurdish Yazidis in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany.

Holy War Arrives in Germany

Soeren Kern | Gatestone Institute | August 10, 2014

Supporters of the jihadist group “Islamic State” have clashed with Kurdish Yazidis in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany.

The violence—which comes amid threats by a German jihadist to blow up an American nuclear weapons storage facility in Germany—has counter-terrorism officials concerned that radical Muslims are deliberately exploiting the ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East to stir up trouble on the streets of Europe.

Police say the Muslim-Yazidi clash was triggered after six Islamists stormed a restaurant in the eastern Westphalian town of Herford at around 4 pm on August 7. The Muslims were attempting forcibly to remove a poster inviting people to join a demonstration in support of the Yazidis in Iraq.

Thousands of Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish non-Muslim minority, were forced to flee their homes in northern Iraq in early August to escape advancing Islamic State fighters, who are forcing the Yazidis to convert to Islam or be killed.

The 30-year-old owner of the restaurant in Herford and two others, all Yazidis, were injured in the brawl, which police say was fought with knives and bottles.

Several hours after the restaurant attack, between 300 and 500 Yazidis gathered in the Herford town center, where they clashed with a large group of hooded Salafists.

More than 100 police reinforcements from across eastern Westphalia were called in to restore order. Police, who used pepper spray to disperse the two groups, confiscated makeshift weapons and one firearm, and questioned 86 people.

In the final tally, police arrested six individuals involved in the attack on the Yazidi restaurant: Five ethnic Chechen Salafists and one East German convert to Islam. According to German media, two of the individuals are leading Salafist operatives who were already being monitored by German intelligence.

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