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German IS fighter jailed for three years

April 27, 2017

A man who traveled to Syria to fight with the "Islamic State" armed group has been jailed by a court in Munich. Prosecutors said he had received weapons and bomb-making training while in Raqqa.

Oberlandesgericht München Gebäude
Image: imago stock&people

An unnamed German man of Lebanese origin was jailed on Thursday for being a member of a foreign terrorist organization.

A regional court in the southern city of Munich heard that the former Berlin taxi driver traveled to Syria in late 2014 to join the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (IS) group.

Prosecutors accused the defendant of preparing to take part in terrorist violence, after receiving training in weapons and bomb-making in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de-facto IS capital.

But the man told the court he only traveled to the Middle East to retrieve his three children, who had been taken without his knowledge to Syria by his wife.

He said he only joined IS as an administrator to be able to get his children back.

The defendant returned to Germany in October 2015 with his children and was arrested shortly afterwards.

His sentence was reduced after the man confessed to being an IS member and due to his motivation for going to Syria.

More than 700 Germans are believed to have traveled to fight with IS, according to German government figures. Around 200 have since returned.

A handful of former IS fighters have been charged for their involvement by German courts.

The YPG's foreign fighters

mm/sms (AFP, dpa)