IS recruiter sentenced to ten and a half years in prison in Germany

The Celle Higher Regional Court has sentenced the alleged German leader of the Islamic State terrorist militia to ten and a half years in prison. The court found the 37-year-old Iraqi Abu Walaa guilty on Wednesday of supporting and being a member of the terrorist organisation. According to the judges, the hatemonger and his network radicalised young people, mainly in the Ruhr area and Lower Saxony, and ordered them to join the IS war zones. Three codefendants were given prison sentences of between four and eight years.Abu Walaa was imam of the mosque of the now banned association Deutschsprachiger Islamkreis Hildesheim.A codefendant, a Serb holding a German passport, who was given eight years in prison, allegedly used his flat in Dortmund as a place of prayer and also temporarily harboured the Islamist Anis Amri there. Amri carried out an attack on a Christmas market in Berlin in 2016, in which twelve people died.In the course of the trial, the court dealt with a large number of other Islamists who were allegedly radicalised by the man from Dortmund and a codefendant from Duisburg in the back room of the latter’s travel agency. The Duisburg man was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Two of the recruits are said to have carried out suicide attacks in Iraq causing numerous deaths.The federal prosecution had requested eleven and a half years in prison for Abu Walaa, and between four and a half and ten years for the other defendants. The lawyer, on the other hand, had pleaded for acquittal or significantly lighter sentences.The activities of Abu Walaa’s group did not remain unnoticed by the security authorities. In Dortmund, there was a regular presence of “Murat”, an undercover agent of the North Rhine-Westphalia State Criminal Police Office, who also traced Amri’s activities. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office also relied on information from this confidential informant, who, however, was not authorised to testify at the trial. Its key witness was a young man from Gelsenkirchen who fell into Islamist groups as a youth, but then turned away from IS and cooperated with the authorities.However, the lawyer doubted the credibility of this key witness. They accused the undercover man of inciting attacks himself. The lawyer considered the accusations of the prosecution to be by and large not provable.

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