German ‘IS leader’ faces verdict

  • Iraqi preacher Abu Walaa will face sentencing in Germany.
  • He is accused of being the IS consultant in Germany.
  • Prosecutors say he recruited a minimum of eight jihadists.

A German court docket will hand down on Wednesday its ruling in a case in opposition to Abu Walaa, a infamous Iraqi preacher believed to be the Islamic State jihadist group’s de facto chief in Germany.

Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah Abdullah, higher generally known as Abu Walaa, is accused of being “IS’ representative in Germany” and directing a jihadist community which radicalised younger individuals in Europe and helped them journey to Iraq and Syria.

The Iraqi preacher, 37, is within the dock with three different males in a pricey and high-security trial that started in 2017 within the northern German city of Celle.

Abu Walaa is charged for his membership of IS, whereas the opposite three defendants are accused of backing the jihadist organisation.

READ | 5 ISIS suspects arrested in Germany

Prosecutors have sought a jail sentence of 11 and a half years for Abu Walaa.

The defence nevertheless demanded an acquittal, with Abu Walaa himself declining to make a closing assertion final week.

Long investigation

Abu Walaa arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker in 2001, and was arrested in November 2016 after a protracted investigation by Germany’s safety providers.

Based in a mosque in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, he’s alleged to have recruited a minimum of eight jihadists – most of them “very young” – to IS, together with a pair of German twin brothers who dedicated a bloody suicide assault in Iraq in 2015.

Dubbed the “preacher without a face” for his on-line movies by which he all the time appeared along with his again to the digital camera, he’s additionally alleged to have preached jihad on the since-closed Hildesheim mosque.

Among those that Abu Walaa allegedly helped radicalise was a minimum of one of many three youngsters who had been convicted of a 2016 bomb assault on a Sikh temple in Essen, western Germany.

Another infamous terrorist with attainable hyperlinks to Abu Walaa was Anis Amri, the Tunisian who killed 12 individuals when he drove a truck right into a Berlin Christmas market in 2016.

Amri was allegedly involved with Abu Walaa’s co-defendant Boban Simeonovic, who’s believed to have put the Tunisian asylum seeker up in his flat in Dortmund.

Amri, who was killed by police in Italy whereas fleeing, additionally attended a Berlin mosque recognized for its hyperlinks to jihadism at which Abu Walaa often preached.

A direct hyperlink between Amri and Abu Walaa stays unproven.

The cost in opposition to the Iraqi preacher is essentially primarily based on the testimony of a safety service informant who spent months accumulating proof.

The informant was exempted from testifying in individual earlier than the court docket over fears that it could put his life in peril.

Another key informer was a disillusioned jihadist who agreed to cooperate after returning to Germany from IS-controlled territory, and instructed investigators how he had been a part of Abu Walaa’s community earlier than travelling to Syria.

Yet Abu Walaa’s lawyer Peter Krieger insisted that these testimonies had been untrustworthy, telling the court docket that the important thing witness was a “notorious liar”.

While German authorities now see far-right terrorism as the first hazard to home safety, the specter of Islamist extremism stays.

Two weeks in the past, three Syrian brothers had been arrested in Denmark and Germany on suspicion of planning bomb assaults.

According to the inside ministry, German safety forces have prevented 17 such assaults since 2009, the bulk since a spate of profitable assaults in 2016.

Authorities imagine there are 615 doubtlessly harmful Islamists presently residing in Germany, 5 occasions as many as in 2013.

Do you wish to know extra about this subject? Sign up for one in every of News24’s 33 newsletters to obtain the data you need in your inbox. Special newsletters can be found to subscribers.

Back to top button