Saturday, September 27, 2014

Germany: Police Raid Homes of Alleged IS Supporters in Retrofitting Military Vehicles

According to the UK-based The Telegraph, German police have raided the homes of seven alleged IS (Islamic State) supporters on suspicion of supplying the group with a makeshift military vehicle complete with a mounted semi-automatic weapon.

The police were acting on information that three of the men drove an ambulance from Germany to Syria last year, where it was converted into what the Bavarian Interior Ministry called “a kind of military personnel carrier."
Prosecutors say they have evidence that the IS supporters inside Germany were involved in the plan to upgrade the ambulance. They are also suspected of arranging for six more vehicles to be shipped from Germany to Syria for IS. 
The news came as Germany began supplying €70 million (US$89 million) of sophisticated arms to Kurdish forces fighting against IS in Iraq.
COMMENT: As many as 50 police officers were involved in the raids in Bavaria, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, which recovered evidence in the form of compuer hard drives, CDs and USB sticks.

No arrests have yet been made, but the men, who are aged between 23 and 36, have been named as suspects. One is a convert to Islam.
Prosecutors said they cannot divulge how German investigators learned the ambulance had been converted into a military vehicle for fear it would compromise ongoing investigations.
The Bavarian Interior Ministry initially announced the ambulance had been paid for by a charity in Germany, but prosecutors said they could not confirm that.
“We suspect that one of the men bought the vehicles, but where he got the money I can’t tell you,” Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke, a spokeswoman for the Nuremberg- Fürth prosecutor’s office, said.
She was also unable to confirm reports that the six other vehicles believed to have been supplied by the men were off-road 4x4s.
“We have to locate the handiwork of the dangerous Salafist supporters’ networks in Germany,” the Bavarian Interior Minister, Joachim Herrmann, said.
“We cannot stand idly by while the death squads of IS in Syria and Iraq get assistance from Germany.”
There is no evidence to suggest any of the latest suspects took part in any fighting during their time in Syria, but more than 400 volunteers are believed to have traveled from Germany to Syria and Iraq to fight for IS and other jihadist groups there.
Their numbers include at least 24 children, the youngest of whom is just 13, according to the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.

No comments: