Three Germans jailed for joining Syrian jihadist groups | News | DW | 03.11.2016
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Three Germans jailed for joining Syrian jihadist groups

The three men had travelled to Syria in 2013 to fight for the "Junud al-Sham" militia group. Fadil Rudolf S, who received the longest sentence, had offered to continue fighting for "IS" after he had returned to Germany.

A German court on Thursday jailed three young German citizens for up to four and a half years for travelling to Syria and joining the jihadi militant groups, including the so-called "Islamic State" (IS).

Düsseldorf's higher regional court (above) sentenced Fadil Rudolf S., 26, to four and a half years, while Mohamed A., 24, and Mustafa P., 26, were each sentenced to two years and nine months. All three men travelled to Syria in 2013 to join the "Junud al-Sham" Sunni militia group. Fadil Rudolf S. later went on to fight for IS. 

All three returned to Germany several months later..

Fadil Rudolf S received the longest sentence because "after his first return to Germany, he once again made himself available as a fighter for the IS over several weeks in July 2014," the court said in a statement. "Later in January and in the summer of 2015, he also sought twice to travel to Syria to join the IS."

No evidence found that the other two men sustained links to terrorist organizations after they returned Germany, granting them shorter sentences.

The court proceeding took 17 days, and saw 11 witnesses and one expert take the stand.

The verdict is not yet legally binding, as the defendants can appeal the decision in front of a federal court.

The case could serve as precedent for investigators examining whether there are legal grounds to charge a 27-year-old Syrian man detained in Berlin on Wednesday over alleged links to IS.

While Germany has been spared of a large-scale jihadist attack, the country has been rocked by a series of deadly assaults claimed by IS and carried out by asylum seekers. In July, IS claimed to be behind a suicide bomb attack in Ansbach in which 15 people were wounded, as well as an axe attack on a train that left five people hurt near Würzburg. Several apparent plots to carry out large-scale attacks have also been foiled, including an alleged plot last month to bomb one of Berlin's airports.

dm/kl (dpa, AFP, Oberlandesgericht Düsseldorf)

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