Bloomberg: Is the caliphate dangerous after all?


November 30 a major police operation caused a stir in Bloomberg. And it brought back memories of the early 2000s for many people. At that time, the Baar city police were also on alert against radical Muslims.

At that time, the organization of the Caliphate state was banned by Metin Kaplan, the so-called Caliph of Cologne. In Blumberg, this resulted in the banning of an association, the Muslim Gemeinde Blumberg. Some members had to leave Germany, such as the former chairman. Others stayed in Blumberg – and found new premises.

Espenstrasse

In some of them, including the building at Espenstraße 5, police found money, propaganda materials and other evidence during operations last week that could indicate that the banned organization is still being supported from there. Its founder, Metin Kaplan, is in Turkey, where he was deported from Germany.

One of the buildings that the Rottweiler Criminal Investigation Department conducted a major search on Wednesday, November 30, is...

One of the buildings searched by the Rottweiler Criminal Police on Wednesday, November 30, is the pink house on Espenstrasse. 5 Photo: Conny Hahn

After the search, six investigations are carried out on the suspects. According to Matthias Hörster of the Karlsruhe public prosecutor’s office, it is impossible to estimate how long this will take: “However, experience shows that the evaluation of data carriers is difficult.” The accused are still at large.

But how dangerous are they really?

The Caliphate is an Islamist organization led by Istanbul-based Metin Kaplan. According to the prosecution, their aim is to create an Islamic state, rejecting the principles of democracy and the rule of law based on the Koran as the constitution and Sharia as the only applicable law.

Association is indisputably prohibited and participation in it is punishable by law. “From here, no further statements can be made about the group’s dangerousness,” says Hörster. The police cannot comment on that either: “The association was banned a year ago. However, we cannot say anything about the danger,” explains Jörg Kluge, a representative of the Konstanz police headquarters.

violence as a means

When asked about the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, there is no information either. However, the body publishes an annual report that ranks various organizations. This is how the caliphate state behaves. One of the reasons for its ban can be read in the 2021 report of the protection of the constitution: “Promotion of violence as a means to achieve political goals.” It is said that there are about 700 supporters in Germany in various groups.

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Bloomberg itself has nothing to feel, at least in this regard. More recently, there was talk of the former Hinsch furniture store. Former members visited the building. “At the time, this caused irritation because the parties involved were traveling with Cologne license plates,” explains Markus Keller, the mayor of Blumberg. A citizens’ initiative was formed to speak out against the sale to the group. The city eventually bought it and sold it about six months ago to a businessman from Bloomberg: “We see it as a way to promote local businesses.”

Markus Keller, Mayor Blumberg.

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