BERLIN (AP) — German prosecutors filed terrorism charges Thursday against a suspected representative of the Islamic State group in Germany and four fellow suspects who are accused of running a recruitment network.
The suspected ringleader — a 33-year-old Iraqi citizen identified as Ahmad Abdulaziz Abdullah A., who goes by the alias Abu Walaa — was indicted on charges of membership in a terrorist organization, terror financing and public incitement to commit crimes, federal prosecutors said.
The five, who were arrested in November, are suspected of recruiting young Muslims in Germany and raising funds to send them to Syria and Iraq to join IS.
Abu Walaa was the imam at a radical mosque in the northern city of Hildesheim and also organized "Islam seminars" at mosques elsewhere in Germany.
The other four suspects were indicted on charges of supporting IS in different ways.
The 51-year-old Turkish citizen Hasan C. and 37-year-old German-Serbian citizen Boban S., were allegedly in charge of teaching Arabic and "radical Islamic content" to recruits.
A 28-year-old German citizen, Mahmoud O., and a 27-year-old from Cameroon, identified as Ahmed F.Y., were allegedly in charge of helping to organize the recruits' departure to Syria.
Prosecutors listed the names of eight men who they say left Germany with the support of Abu Walaa to join IS in Syria.
Among those listed are Mark and Kevin K. who killed dozens of government soldiers in two separate suicide bombings in 2015. Another one, identified as Martin L., was given 2,000 euros ($2,324) from Abu Walaa to pay for his travels to Syria in November 2014. He is allegedly in charge of guarding new IS fighters coming from Germany.
Much of the information for the investigation comes from an unnamed confidant. Abu Walaa has called that person a traitor and asked on social media for the source to be killed after German authorities first raided the group's premises in August. Prosecutors say their source has been promised confidentiality and has been given protection.