Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere considers the arrest of five militants on charges of supporting a terrorist organisation in Germany as “an important success against extremist supporters of ISIS in Germany”. He also described the raids as good news and said that the arrests indicate that Germany’s security forces are “active, determined and vigilant”.
The Minister’s comment came after police carried out raids in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the northern state of Lower Saxony. Police arrested Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A (Abu Walaa) and four of his accomplices: a Turkish national called Hasan C, a German-Serb called Boban S, a German national Mahmoud O and a Cameroonian named Ahmed FY.
The Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Ralf Jaeger said that the arrest of the extremist preacher Abu Walaa and his accomplices was ‘an important blow to the extremist network that aims to recruit young people for ISIS in Germany”. He added that the network’s aim is to spread extremism amongst the youth and pave the way for them to travel to Iraq and Syria.
The public prosecutor issued a statement saying those who were arrested were charged with supporting a foreign terrorist organisation and recruiting fighters to join the ranks of ISIS. The statement added that “the five suspects formed an extremist and Islamist regional network headed by the accused, Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A”, and that its goal is to “send people to join the terrorist organisation ISIS in Syria”. The statement also said that the network sent at least one young man and his family to Syria to join ISIS. The statement also pointed out that Abu Walaa was the head of the extremist network”.
The raids took place early in the morning and anti-terrorist units took part in them. The investigation was immediately referred to federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, and the public prosecutor in Lower Saxony said that all cases related to ISIS are dealt with by federal prosecutors.