Germany arrests IS leader, Abu Walaa

JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE

Police officers seach a residential building opposite the German-Speaking Islamic Circle Hildesheim mosque in Hildesheim, Germany, 08 November 2016. German police arrested five suspected Islamic State (IS) terror militia members in the German states of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westfalia, among them a man believed to be a high-ranking member of Germany's islamist community.

Germany arrests IS leader, Abu Walaa


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German authorities have arrested five members of a terrorist recruiting network operating on behalf of the so-called Islamic State (IS), local media report.

The arrests on Tuesday morning took place in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony. The network recruited and provided logistical support for local volunteers making their way from Germany to Syria.

Among those arrested is an Iraqi citizen known as Abu Walaa, 32, or Ahmad Abdelaziz. The preacher is a leading figure of the Jihadi movement in Germany, and many of his followers have made their way to Syria. Walaa has been at the center of a year- long investigation, which also yielded arrests in the city of Hildesheim in July 2016.

The arrest appears to have been facilitated by a former IS fighter, Anil O., 22, who identified Walaa as Germany’s IS leader.

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