Germany arrests Syrian accused of war crimes

Published March 2nd, 2017 - 04:00 GMT
German authorities have arrested a Syrian man for war crimes. (AFP/File)
German authorities have arrested a Syrian man for war crimes. (AFP/File)

German authorities have arrested a Syrian national on war crimes charges over the killings of dozens of civilians in Syria in 2013 as a member of the al-Nusra Front 'terrorist' group, prosecutors said Thursday.

The 35-year-old, named only as Abdalfatah H A in accordance with German privacy laws, was arrested in Dusseldorf, according to the federal prosecutor's office in Karlsruhe.

He is accused of participating in the execution of 36 Syrian government employees in 2013.

According to German news magazine Der Spiegel, Abdalfatah H A came to Germany as an asylum seeker.

In July 2016, al-Nusra Front, which was al-Qaeda's branch in Syria, split from the global extremist network and changed its name to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham.

Another suspected al-Nusra Front fighter - 26-year-old Abdulrahman A A, charged with membership in a foreign extremist organization - was arrested in the town of Giessen.

Prosecutors say he is suspected of founding a combat unit on behalf of al-Nusra Front in early 2013 as well as managing its finances and vehicles. Abdalfatah H A was also a member of this unit.

Both are accused of taking part in military combat against Syrian regime troops, including the November 2013 capture of a weapons depot in the town of Mahin, about 65 kilometres south-east of Homs.

The two suspects are linked to an Daesh sleeper cell that had been planning a attack in Dusseldorf before it was uncovered by German police in June.

Abd Arahman A K, one of the four suspects in that case, is another founding member of the aforementioned al-Nusra Front combat unit. The four suspected members of the sleeper cell are now in police custody.

The suspected plot involved two militants blowing themselves up with explosive vests in the western German city's historic centre and the remaining men killing others with firearms, but there was no evidence to indicate the plan was close to fruition.

In a separate case announced Thursday by prosecutors in Munich, a man from Bosnia was arrested two days ago on suspicion of supporting Junud al-Sham, another Islamist faction in the Syrian war.

The 33-year-old is accused of procuring vehicles for the militant group, as well as violating weapons control laws.

© 2022 dpa GmbH

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