The federal prosecutor’s office has arrested seven suspected supporters of the terrorist organization “Islamic State”. In addition, there were searches in several federal states, the Karlsruhe authority said.
Seven suspected supporters of the jihadist militia “Islamic State” (IS) have been arrested in several federal states. As the Federal Prosecutor’s Office in Karlsruhe announced, there were also searches in ten federal states.
More than 1,000 members of the Federal Criminal Police Office, the State Criminal Police Offices and the police were deployed. In total, they searched more than 100 properties in Berlin, Bavaria, Bremen, Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Thuringia, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia and the Netherlands. It was about a financing network of the IS.
Terrorist activities funded by donations?
According to the information, four of the arrests were made in North Rhine-Westphalia, one more each in Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bremen. The supreme prosecutor accuses the three men and four women of supporting a terrorist organization. The accused are predominantly German, but also have Kosovan, Moroccan and Turkish nationals.
They are said to have been involved in the network as financial intermediaries. “By collecting donations and forwarding them to IS, they played a central role within the financing network,” it said. They are accused of supporting IS terrorist activities with donations.
The men and women are to be brought before the investigating judge of the Federal Court of Justice on Wednesday and Thursday. He decides whether they have to be remanded in custody. The investigators accuse other suspects of making money payments to the financing network in favor of the IS.
A total of at least 65,000 euros
Since 2020, two IS supporters have been campaigning for money payments from Syria via the online service Telegram, the federal prosecutor said. “Integrated into the network were financial intermediaries who collected funds and made accounts or digital donation funds available.” The money collected was transferred to IS members in Syria or to intermediaries named there – a total of at least 65,000 euros.
According to the information, the payments served to strengthen IS. “The funds were used in particular to improve the supply situation for members of the association imprisoned in the northern Syrian camps Al-Hol and Roj,” explained the federal prosecutor. “In some cases, the money was used to enable the inmates to escape or be smuggled out of the camps.”
The campaigns on social media with titles like “Your sister in the camp” have been running for several years. They serve the purpose of providing financial support to IS women who have been living with their children in Syria since the terrorist militia’s military defeat, especially in the Al-Hol camp controlled by Kurdish groups.
There were repeated reports that women, children and young people who still feel they belong to the IS were smuggled out of the camp in exchange for large sums of money. Of the dozens of IS women who have returned to Germany in recent years, many have been arrested and tried after their arrival. Some of them came to Germany with their children from Syria via return campaigns, others were deported or came back on their own.
Buschmann: Determined against IS terror
Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann welcomed the nationwide raid: “We are taking decisive action against Islamist terror,” wrote the FDP politician on Twitter.
ban on activity for IS in Germany
Since the beginning of January 2014, according to the Criminal Code, acts by members or supporters of IS who are German citizens, reside in Germany or work here can be prosecuted. On September 12, 2014, the Ministry of the Interior also issued a ban on IS activity in Germany.
This includes, among other things, any participation in social media and demonstrations in favor of the IS and any kind of support act such as raising money and material as well as recruiting fighters. These acts have been punishable since then.