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Confession in Germany's first IS trial

October 10, 2014

A 20-year-old on trial for involvement in a terrorist organization has confessed to fighting alongside the IS in Syria. In a statement, he said he saw it as his duty to defend Sunni Muslims from the tyranny of Assad.

Terrorprozess gegen Syrien-Rückkehrer in Frankfurt (IS)
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/B. Roessler

A man on trial in Germany for his alleged involvement in the "Islamic State" (IS) war in Syria has confessed to having joined the militia and fighting in Syria.

Twenty-year-old Kreshnik B is on trial for his alleged membership in a foreign terrorist organization.

Born in Hesse to a family from Kosovo, Kreshnik B admitted to going to Syria in 2013 to fight against the Assad regime in his third day of court on Friday, October 10.

In a written confession read out by his lawyer in Frankfurt on Friday, he said, "The inconceivable violence used by the Alawite Assad regime against the Sunni majority was enraging and bewildering. No one wanted to help the people there.

"I saw it as my duty to fight against the suppression and tyranny."

Kreshnik B confessed to traveling to Turkey in July 2013 before moving on to Syria, where he swore allegiance to the IS and received firearms training and was deployed in fighting missions.

He added that he had not been very deeply involved in the fighting missions as "European fighters were not taken seriously." He was therefore used as a medic and as a guard at roadblocks.

'Doubts' over infighting

Kreshnik B ended up coming home early, according to his statement read out by his lawyer, because he started having doubts after various rebel groups started fighting each other.

"I didn't understand why the people were fighting each other instead of fighting together against Assad's tyranny."

He was arrested upon his arrival in Frankfurt in December 2013.

Looking forward to a 'normal life'

In his statement, Kreshnik B said he now valued peace and looked forward to leading a normal life after serving out his sentence. His trial started on September 15.

Kreshnik B will be sentenced according to Germany's juvenile penal code in return for cooperating with authorities. He will receive anywhere between 3.5 to 4.5 years in a correctional facility. His next court date will be on October 30.

German authorities estimate that around 450 radicalized Muslims have left Germany to join the war in Syria. Around 150 of them are said to have returned.

sb/jr (dpa, AFP)