World

German Police Arrest Alleged Islamic State Recruiter

| by Meg O'Connor

German authorities have arrested a suspected supporter of the self-proclaimed Islamic State in the German city of Stuttgart. The Moroccan man was living in the town of Ludwigsburg under the false identity of an asylum seeker.

The 21-year-old was wanted by Spanish authorities, who had requested his arrest for allegedly working as a recruiter for the Islamic State, and for helping to plan attacks. 

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While in Spain, the man apparently served as a contact for the Islamic State and actively disseminated propaganda for the militant group on multiple social networks.

In July, the suspected Islamic State sympathizer allegedly said that he intended to travel to Syria to join the fight with the Islamic State. Authorities had already been investigating the man for some time before, and he has also allegedly expressed an interest in helping to stage an attack on Spain or Spanish interests.

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Spanish authorities say that the man in question fled Spain after he escaped police raids in early July. Spain has already arrested about 50 suspected Islamist recruiters and militants so far this year.

The Spanish government has said that at least 116 Spanish citizens have left the country in a bid to join the Islamic State or other Islamist groups active in Syria and Iraq. In June, the Spanish interior ministry raised its terror alert level from three to four - five is the highest level possible.

The man has since been handed over to Spanish police because of a European Arrest Warrant that was issued by a Spanish court.

According to the warrant, the man "had begun the necessary contacts, in the name of Islamic State, to carry out attacks in Spain in reprisal for the recent arrests of Jihadis."

He stands accused of terrorism and of belonging to a criminal organization, according to Spain's interior ministry, and was involved in passing on instructions for operations from the Islamic State.

Sources: Deutsche Welle, Reuters

Photo credit: BBC