This Tuesday, German police detained several members belonging to an alleged jihadist network. Federal prosecutors say that the network was recruiting fighters for the Islamic State in Syria. So, those recruited would have become part of the terror militia. The operation carried out by German police is the biggest swipe at local radical Islamist networks in recent months. The operation took place in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Police arrested five men with ages between 26 and 50. The police suspect that they were carrying out activities that supported the Islamic State.
German Authorities Detain Alleged Jihadist Network
One of the five men that were detained by the police is the leader of the group. He is 32 years old and the only identification from German authorities, in accordance with German privacy law, was Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A. The leader of the group came from Iraq. According to prosecutors, he was responsible for putting would-be fighters with ISIS.
“The aim of the network headed by him was to connect people to ISIS in Syria,”
said a statement from the federal prosecutor’s office.
Prosecutors say that the group successfully smuggled a young man and his family to Syria. But prosecutors believe that many more went to ISIS in Syria.
In recent years, Germany as well as neighboring countries France and Belgium, have become recruiting grounds for Islamist jihadists. According to the federal criminal agency of Germany, over 800 people have left the country for Syria or Iraq. There, they have joined ISIS or other terror groups. The federal criminal agency estimates that a third of them have returned to Germany.
German authorities have tried to prevent the recruitment of foreign fighters. They are trying to stop them from making their way to Iraq and Syria to fight in the first place. They have taken the measure of confiscating passports from people that were planning a trip that involved foreign terrorist groups.
German Government Congratulates Police
The German government commended the actions of the police. The operation was a decisive step in the fight against home-grown terrorism. Heiko Maas, the Justice Minister of Germany, reacted to the success of the operation in a statement.
“This is an important blow to extremist groups in Germany,”
said Justice Minister Heiko Maas.
Federal prosecutors said that the man who was supposedly the leader of the group was in fact very open about his support for ISIS. The man also used the name Abu Walaa and had promoted the Islamic State at certain events. The events in question promoted the Salafi branch of Islam, a fundamentalist branch with ties to terror groups. The efforts were directed at advancing the cause of Salafi Islam in Germany.
The German police identified two of his aides as a Turkish national Hasan C. and a German-Serbian Boban S. The two men were 50 and 36 years old respectively. They were responsible for teaching potential recruits about radical Islam as well as Arabic. Another responsibility of theirs was to prepare them mentally for fighting.
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