Foreign fighter cases stretch German justice to the limit - prosecutor

Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range said his office was investigating 46 of the most serious cases, involving 83 people suspected of offences like belonging to ISIL or al Qaeda

Foreign fighter cases stretch German justice to the limit - prosecutor

World Bulletin/News Desk

Germany's justice system is struggling to cope with waves of suspected foreign fighters returning from Syria, the top public prosecutor said on Thursday.

Federal Prosecutor General Harald Range said his office was investigating 46 of the most serious cases, involving 83 people suspected of offences like belonging to ISIL or al Qaeda. Regional prosecutors were investigating 100 more.

That is a huge increase on the five investigations of eight suspects that prosecutors had to deal with in 2013.

"We are at the limits of our capacity," Range said.

"What worries me is the speed with which people are radicalising, or being radicalised. We are facing a phenomenon which needs a broad strategy of prevention," he said.

Like their counterparts in Britain, France and other Western countries, German security officials are concerned at the numbers of people travelling abroad to join militant groups, then potentially returning to plot attacks at home.

A court in Frankfurt last week jailed a home-grown militant for almost four years after he admitted joining ISIL in Syria, in the first trial in Germany over membership of the insurgent group.

Another trial is under way in Stuttgart of a Lebanese man who admitted joining ISIL in Syria, then returning to Germany to buy military and medical supplies for them.

Security forces estimate that about 550 people have left Germany for Syria or Iraq, of whom some 60 have been killed and about 180 are believed to have returned to Germany.

"Why are so many going?" said Range "We still know too little about their motives, but with every case we learn more."

Last Mod: 11 Aralık 2014, 14:59
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