1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Germany detains suspected 'IS' war criminal

August 9, 2017

A 29-year-old suspected member of the Islamic State has been taken into custody by German authorities. He is accused of killing a man in Syria for "blasphemy" and leaving his body on display.

Symbolbild Polizei Deutschland
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/S. Stein

A Syrian man who is thought to have committed war crimes in his home country was detained in Germany, federal prosecutors said in a statement on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old is "strongly suspected" to be a member of the militant Islamic State (IS) group who is also accused of war crimes and "grievous bodily harm," German authorities said.

The man - identified as Fares A. B. in accordance with German privacy standards - was arrested on July 31 in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg and was brought before a judge on Tuesday.

It was unclear how long he had been living in Germany and when he arrived.Read more: Syrian officials to be investigated by Spain for alleged torture

Amnesty: Thousands hanged in Syrian prison

Alleged prisoner abuse and execution

According to the prosecutor's statement, Fares A. B. first joined the Nusra Front militant group in 2013, before becoming an IS member in the early summer of 2014 - when the group claimed large chunks of territory in Iraq, and then Syria.

The suspect then worked at an IS prison where he is thought to have abused at least three prisoners.

During a vehicle check, Fares A. B. also allegedly beat the driver of a pickup trick, "repeatedly hitting the victim in the head with his machine gun," the statement said.

In the summer of 2014, the suspect and two other IS members shot and killed a man for alleged blasphemy in a public execution at a village in the Syrian province of Deir ez-Zor. The body was then put on display in the village for three days, prosecutors said in a statement.

Read more: Syrian artists call for Assad's prosecution for war crimes

According to the wording of the prosecutor's statement, Fares A. B.  appeared to have already been detained by German authorities on other charges, but further details were not provided.

In March, authorities in the German city of Düsseldorf arrested another suspected Syrian war criminal. The 35-year-old allegedly killed 36 people in his home country in 2013 while fighting for the Nusra Front, which now calls itself Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.

rs/msh (AP, AFP, dpa)