BEIRUT

Middle East

Germany charges 20-year-old citizen with ISIS membership

BERLIN: Germany has charged a 20-year-old German citizen with joining the banned militant Islamist group ISIS during six months he spent in Syria last year and also with taking arms training and plotting attacks.

The federal prosecutor’s office named the individual in a statement Tuesday only as Kreshnik B. from Frankfurt am Main. He is charged with membership of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, whose fighters have made big territorial gains in Iraq over the past two weeks. About 2,000 Europeans are believed currently to be fighting with the Islamist rebels in Syria, including some 320 from Germany. Kreshnik B., driven by his radical religious convictions, traveled via Istanbul to Syria, the prosecutors said. After joining ISIS he underwent weapons training and acquired a firearm.

He was deployed for medical and guard duties by ISIS, but also took part in several battles.

He was arrested after returning to Germany and was initially charged with planning attacks. German intelligence services estimate about 100 German jihadists have returned from Syria.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 25, 2014, on page 8.

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