Re-opening of the Great Cologne Mosque after closing for hours | News -

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After receiving an electronic threat message, On Tuesday (July 9, 2019), the German authorities closed the Central Mosque of the Turkish Islamic Affairs Union (DTP) in the German city of Cologne and the surrounding area on a large scale. "The content of the message was a threat to a large extent," a police spokesman said. "We have to act directly"He said.

The mosque was evacuated and a "very large number" of security forces searched the mosque compound before noon, "but they did not find anything that could be dangerous," said a police spokesman.. The security operation was gradually reduced after an hour and a half.

At 2 pm Germany time the mosque was opened again, as well as the surrounding area, as reported by several German media, including the local radio in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (WDR) In this tweet.

Security authorities in Cologne began investigations into Tuesday's incident on suspicion of disturbing public peace by threatening to commit crimes. A spokesman for the "Diept" union, the largest Islamic institution in Germany, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that it was a bomb threat.

"We are concerned and fear, we see a concentration of attacks on mosques … the threat," said Zacarias Altug, a spokesman for Detip, who said the evacuation was carried out peacefully. Exploding a bomb moves us to a new quality of risk"He said.

The Dimitip Union reported attacks on mosques before that, when a flag was burned in an attack on a mosque belonging to the Turkish Union in Karlsruhe on Tuesday night. Earlier on July 4, a mosque in Schleswig, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, was also attacked.

The central mosque or the Grand Mosque in Cologne was officially opened by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last September, which was criticized by politicians at the federal and state level in Germany. The Détip union is criticized for its links to power in Ankara and its structural and political independence from the Turkish government.

(AFP)

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