A suspected member of the self-declared 'Islamic State' group has been arrested at Dusseldorf airport on his return from Turkey. He is believed to have attended a Syrian training camp.
Authorities in the city of Karlsruhe said on Saturday that the German Federal Prosecutor's Office had authorized the arrest of the individual at Dusseldorf airport on Friday.
The 22-year-old man was taken into custody as he arrived in Dusseldorf from Turkey on Friday. He is believed to have traveled to Syria in August last year and joined IS there.
He has been accused of attending a training camp in Syria and obtaining an automatic rifle and hand grenades to use in battle. "Therefore, he has proven himself willing to engage in armed fighting," the Prosecutor's Office said.
The alleged jihadist is believed to have returned from Syria to Turkey in December of last year.
The unnamed individual is also believed to have tried to persuade other people living in Germany to join him in IS-controlled territory.
"The State Criminal Police Office detained a 22-year-old Turkish German immediately upon his re-entry. The arrest and the investigation show that [despite his success in traveling to Syria] our security agencies are working together professionally and easily in the fight against Islamist terrorism," the interior minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia told the "Rheinische Post" daily.
Hundreds of former IS-fighters in Germany
According to estimates from security services, about 800 people have left Germany to fight with jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq. About a third of them are believed to have returned to Germany.
There have been a series of plans outlined to deal with the increased security threat perceived in Germany. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said last month: "Germans who participate in fighting abroad for a terror militia and who have another citizenship should lose their German nationality."
Under de Maiziere's plans, thousands of new security and police posts are to be created over the next year with spending on security raised by 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) by 2020.
The minister's plans also call for federal police to establish a new division to coordinate security efforts and a new unit to be formed to draw up strategies to combat cyber-crime and terrorism.
es/jm (AFP, dpa)