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Germany arrests two Syrians members of al-Qaeda

Germany arrests two Syrians members of al-Qaeda

On Monday, German authorities say they’ve arrested two Syrians on suspicion of helping to carry out an execution by an Islamist terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda. Khedr A.K. and Sami A.S are accused of having “jointly killed a person protected under international humanitarian law”, German prosecutors said.The two men were arrested after their apartments were searched in Naumburg, near Leipzig, and in the western city of Essen.

According to preliminary Federal Police’s investigations, Khedr A.K. joined the Ghurabaa Muhassan group in Syria, part of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organisation, some time before July 2012.At that time, Jabhat al-Nusra was Al-Qaeda’s wing in Syria.On July 10, 2012, Khedr A.K. was involved in the execution of a lieutenant colonel with the Syrian army who had been captured by the group, they said.He is accused of guarding the prisoner, who was bound by his hands and subjected to severe mistreatment, as he was transferred to his place of execution in Syria.

Sami A.S. filmed the subsequent shooting of the victim and commented on the video “in a glorifying manner” for propaganda purposes, German prosecutors said. Khedr A.K. is suspected of membership in Jabhat al-Nusra and Sami A.S. of having been a supporter of the group.Both Syrians men appeared before the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Monday and are now in custody.

The first court case worldwide over state-sponsored torture by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime opened in April in Germany after the suspects were brought to the notice of the authorities by their victims.In June, a Syrian doctor living in Germany was arrested on suspicion of crimes against humanity in his country of origin.

Security authorities have prevented seven terrorist attacks in Germany since the 2016 Christmas market terror attack that killed 12, says Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office. In an interview with German daily Rheinische Post published Wednesday, the organization’s President Holger Münch said that the deficiencies in immigration law, surveillance, and criminal prosecution that allowed the 2016 attack to happen would no longer be possible today.

On December 19, 2016, Anis Amri, a rejected asylum-seeker from Tunisia, stole a semi-truck, killed the driver and conducted the vehicle into an unprotected Christmas market at Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz. More than 60 people were wounded and 12 died. Amri was later shot dead by authorities in northern Italy while on the run.An investigation of the incident revealed that Amri was a convicted drug dealer known to police. Criminal proceedings against Amri in the several German states had not been combined and he was able to move freely.

European authorities have raised their guard against Syrian migrants and refugees on their territory. Public opinion also closely follows what is happening in Libya, after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has transferred thousands of Syrian fighters to the North African country. Many of them deserted and infiltrated among the migrants, on the ghost boats that arrive on the European coast every day.

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