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Germany

German Hezbollah Fighter to Remain in Germany

Steven Josef Smyrek, a 32-year-old German national from the city of Brunswick, who was released on Thursday in Germany during the prisoner swap between Israel and militant Islamic organization Hezbollah, has decided to remain in his native country. A spokesman for the German Interior Ministry, Rainer Lingenthal, said in Berlin that Smyrek faced no charges in Germany and had the right to stay since he was a German national. Smyrek was arrested in Nov. 1997 on his way to Israel and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment on account of his involvement in a suicide attack planned by Hezbollah militants. Smyrek had admitted his commitment to militant Islam in a recent television interview. "For us it’s an honor to die for Islam, for Allah," he said.