German police have raided 190 sites in 10 states in a massive operation against Salafist activists who have been distributing Korans along with their own propaganda.
The organising group, the TWRTrue Religion has been banned.
It is thought to have several hundred members, and is believed to have recruited some 140 young people to fight in Syria.
Its leader, the Palestinian-born Ibrahim Abou-Nagie who lived in Germany for 30 years, is now believed to be based in Malaysia and setting up a new group there. Germany tried to prosecute him in 2012, but failed.
The raids were on mosques, offices and private homes, and was the biggest operation of its type since the 2001 shutdown of the Kalifatstaat extremist group.
“With today’s ban we are giving a clear signal. There is no place in our society for radical extremists who are willing to use violence. Here, we are drawing a clear line to also be able to protect the peaceful Islam in Germany,” said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
Germany has banned five other organisations accused of having Islamic extremist-jihadi aspirations since 2012, but De Maiziere stressed the ban was on the group and its propaganda, not the distribution of the Koran in general or translations of it.