German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière speaks to the media to announce that authorities launched 200 raids against Islamists across Germany today on November 15, 2016 in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup—Getty Images
November 15, 2016 8:11 AM EST

An Islamist organization that distributes German-language copies of the Quran to passers-by has been banned by the German government who accused it of recruiting would-be jihadists to fight in Syria and Iraq.

The True Religion organization, also known as Read, was outlawed Tuesday when officers raided 190 premises in more than eight German states after months of surveillance of the group, the New York Times reports.

“The organization brings Islamic jihadists together under the pretext of the harmless distribution of the Quran,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière told reporters in Berlin. He added that the ban had “nothing to do with the alleged freedom of religion.”

The True Religion was known for handing out Qurans in pedestrianized areas across the country. According to de Maizière, 140 of the group’s supporters are known to have traveled to the Middle East to fight on behalf of ISIS.

[New York Times]

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