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Germany

German police arrest suspected 'Islamic State' militant near Leipzig

German officials have detained a 29-year-old Syrian national who allegedly pledged allegiance to the terrorist organization in 2013. The suspect fought in Syria for several years.

Police in the eastern German state of Saxony arrested Ahmad A. on Thursday night in Leipzig, the Federal Public Prosecutor's office announced.

Read more: Number of potential terrorists on the rise in Germany, report says

The arrest was made according to a warrant issued on May 3 by the investigating magistrate in the Federal Court of Justice, Germany's highest criminal court, the prosecutor's office said in a statement shared over its Twitter account.

Authorities also searched Ahmad A.'s house at the time of arrest. The raid lasted from Thursday afternoon until the evening.

According to information obtained by German news agency dpa, there was no immediate terrorist threat.

Ahmad A.'s arrest came a few days after authorities detained a different Syrian national in the southwestern state of Baden Württemberg for suspected IS ties.

Karte Deutschland mit Leipzig

Ahmad A. was arrested in Leipzig, a city in the east German state of Saxony.

First al-Nusra, then the Islamic State

Prosecutors suspect the man of having fought for radical Islamist terror organizations in Syria.

According to the statement, Ahmad A. fought on behalf of the al-Nusra Front, al-Qaida's ostensible former Syrian branch, rising to become his unit's "emir" in the Raqqa region. He also allegedly participated in the conquest of two Syrian towns: Dibsi Afnan in November 2012 and al-Tabqa in February 2013.

After clashes between the Nusra Front and the so-called Islamic State (IS) in early 2013, Ahmad switched his allegiance.

No details have yet been provided as to how Ahmad A. came to be in Germany.

The suspect will appear before the investigating magistrate on Friday afternoon, who will rule on pre-trial detention. 

cmb/rt (dpa, AFP, AP)

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