Authorities in northern Germany say police have raided a mosque believed to be a "hot spot" for Islamic extremists in the city of Hildesheim.

The interior ministry of Lower Saxony state said that the apartments of eight leading members of the "German-speaking Islam Circle Hildesheim" organization were also searched Wednesday, news agency dpa reported.

The state's interior minister, Boris Pistorius, said that "after months of preparation we have taken an important step with the searches conducted today toward a ban on the group."

Authorities suspect that Muslims were radicalized in the organization and motivated to take part in jihad. Pistorius said there had been calls for "hatred toward infidels" in sermons and seminars.