German security forces arrest Daesh suspects including a high profile imam
Illustrative: Police officers patrol at a train station in Chemnitz, eastern Germany. (AFP/File)
A high-profile Iraqi imam is among five suspected Daesh extremists arrested in Germany on Tuesday, the federal prosecutor's office said.
Among those arrested by police in the German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia was Ahmad Abdelazziz A, a high profile member of Germany's Islamist community.
The 32-year-old Iraqi national, who is widely known under his nom de guerre Abu Walla or as the "preacher without a face," has been under investigation since last year on suspicion of recruiting would-be jihadists and organizing their travel to Daesh territory.
The arrests were made possible through the testimony of Anil O, a 22-year-old who fled to Turkey and later to Germany after fighting alongside Daesh militants in Syria.
While still in Turkey, Anil O gave an interview to the group of investigative reporters at broadcasters WDR and NDR and the Sueddeutsche newspaper in which he referred to Abu Walaa as "Islamic State's number one in Germany."
In late July, German authorities conducted a series of raids related to the suspects arrested on Tuesday. One of them targeted a mosque in the northern German town of Hildesheim which had been hosting sermons about waging jihad in the Middle East.