German, 21, admits in court he was a foreign fighter

2015-04-09 15:06

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Munich - A 21-year-old German of Turkish origin admitted on Thursday on the first day of his trial in a Munich court that he enlisted as a foreign fighter among Islamists battling Damascus.

He told the court that at the time he went to Syria last year, he had believed it was right to fight "infidels".

The judge, Manfred Dauster, asked: "Was it right to kill them?"

"Fighting them? Oh, yes," said the accused. "Unfortunately I don't know all that much about what Islam says." He said he had heard of atrocities by President Bashar Assad's regime and had wanted to help "by fighting, by killing. That was my attitude at the time."

Germany has regularly arrested returning foreign fighters, many of them disillusioned by the violence of the Islamic State and other Islamist groups in Syria and Iraq. The man's name is not being reported in line with privacy guidelines for the media.

Grave violence

Prosecutors, who indicted him for membership in a terrorist group in Syria, say he joined the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian arm of al-Qaeda. He is also charged with preparing for grave violence against a government, Assad's.

Prosecutors say they will show the court an Islamist propaganda video in which the accused is visible.

Arriving in court in a white shirt with his brown hair neatly combed, he waved cheerily to a crowd of relations in the public gallery.

In testimony, he told the court he had been a school dropout in Munich and a heavy marijuana user. He had not been religious, but had been impressed by recruiters for radical Islam who he met in Germany.

Seven other persons are on trial in German courts and hundreds are under investigation on evidence they were foreign fighters.

German police say that, in all, 650 people from Germany have joined the Islamists, including both those who have returned and those who have been killed. About 4 000 persons from Europe are thought to have entered rebel service in Syria or Iraq.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  syria  |  germany  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.