A Syrian man who fought for Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State was arrested yesterday in Bavaria. The news of his arrest was overshadowed by the more sensational reports on the aftermath of Tuesday night’s bombing of the Borussia soccer team’s bus in Dortmund.
Egri Nök, who translated two articles about the arrest, includes this note:
This guy IS NOT the suspect arrested in connection with the Borussia bombing, but seems to have connections to ISIS. These two arrests took place in different locations in Germany, and are unrelated.
Is it possible that the arrest in Dortmund (since revealed to have nothing to do with the Borussia bombing) was given prominence to draw attention away from the arrest in Bavaria?
The first article (the shorter one) is from the Mittelbayerische Zeitung:
Terror suspect arrested
April 12, 2017
In Lower Bavaria, a Syrian was arrested. He allegedly recruited terrorists in Greek refugee camps.
Karlsruhe. In Lower Bavaria, a 31-year-old Syrian was arrested, who allegedly recruited for Islamist terror militias in Greek refugee camps. The man is under the urgent suspicion of having fought in Syria as a member of the Al Qaeda offshoot Jabhat al-Nusra, and the terror militia Islamic State, the General State Prosecutor in Karlsruhe announced on Wednesday. Additionally, he violated the War Weapons Control Act.
In 2011, the now 31-year-old founded a unit which initially fought in Aleppo, and later also in other regions. When the region fell to the terror militia ISIS, the battle group dissolved, and the man joined ISIS and came to Germany by, at the latest, the end of August 2015. From here, he commuted to refugee camps. Additionally, he is believed to have coordinated terror cells in Europe — to prepare attacks. There were no concrete plans yet for attacks, it was announced.
A more detailed report was published by the public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk. Notice the way in which BR, a public broadcaster, still insists on calling ISIS “the so-called Islamic State”:
Alleged ISIS member: Terror suspect from Adlkofen detained
The General State Prosecutor had a 32-year-old Syrian — who is under suspicion of terror — arrested in Lower Bavaria. According to exclusive information obtained by BR, the man was arrested in Adlkofen near Landshut. The suspect is now in custody.
by Tobias Dörges, Oliver Bendixen
April 13, 2017
The investigating judge ordered custody for the 32-year-old Syrian citizen. The General State Prosecutor in Karlsruhe had issued an arrest warrant for him.
Arrest by SEK [German SWAT team]
The arrest was carried out by special forces of the Bavarian police. The place of arrest was the small town of Adlkofen between Landshut and Vilsbiburg. There the Syrian was lodged in a refugee accommodation. He was arrested Wednesday morning at 7am when he was on his way from the accommodation to a nearby bus stop. He did not resist arrest. The SEK had chosen the place for arrest so that there won’t be trouble with other refugees in the refugee accommodation.
Usually housemates or other asylum seekers recognize it if someone has contact with terrorist groups. According to BR information, this was the case here, too. The intelligence service then investigated the accusations. Finally, the arrest was made.
No connection to the BVB bombing
The man was allegedly a member of the Syrian Al Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front (“Jabhat al-Nusra”, JaN) and of the so-called “Islamic State” (IS). Additionally, he violated the War Weapons Control Act. The 32-year-old appeared before the committing magistrate at the Federal Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“This arrest is in no way connected to yesterday’s attack on the team bus of the football club Borussia Dortmund.”
Message of the General State Prosecutor
According to the General State Prosecutor, in Syria in 2011 the man together with other suspects formed a battle group belonging to the Al-Nusra Front. Initially their scope of action was limited to the area of Aleppo. But from 2013 on, parts of the battle group were also active in the regions of Tabka and Rakka.
Suspect from 2015 on in Germany?
The arrested man then allegedly was in command in the region of Aleppo. At the changeover of power at the turn of the year 2013/2014 when wide parts of the scope of action fell under the control of ISIS, the battle group dissolved. Subsequently the suspect allegedly joined ISIS and worked for its “intelligence service”. In this function, the 32-year-old, according to the General State Prosecutor, came to Germany by no later than the end of August 2015. From here, he commuted to Greece, to recruit members for terror cells in Europe.
Additionally, he allegedly had to control terror cells already active in Europe, to carry out attacks. Even before his departure for Germany, the 32-year-old allegedly forwarded an explosive belt and a handgun to another suspect, who was to transport these to Aleppo.