Not only does Germany have a severe problem with terrorism on the home front, but it is the country with the second highest amount of people who have left to join ISIS, with France being first. Nearly 800 Germans have left Germany to join the Islamic State in Syria.
A German-Muslim Islamic State defector has been charged with murder, war crimes, and belonging to a terrorist organization by Germany’s chief prosecutor.
Harry Sarfo, 28, traveled to Syria in April, 2015 to join ISIS. Upon returning and being arrested, he said that he did not participate in any violence while in Syria. However, prosecutors say Sarfo participated in the execution of six detainees by Islamic State militants, which is seen in a video obtained and published by the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, Sarfo appeared before a federal judge. German federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe, Germany issued a statement announcing the charges against him.
“The accused, who was armed with a pistol, personally took one of the detainees to the execution spot and prevented the others from escaping.”
Sarfo has been in custody in Germany since returning from Syria in July, 2015, serving a three-year sentence at a prison in Bremen, Germany after he was convicted of “lesser charges” of belonging to a terrorist organization and violating German weapons laws.
It is outrageous that Germany considers joining ISIS to be a small offense, only punishable by three years in prison, when terror threats and attacks are being prevented nearly every day in Germany. Unlike a physical weapon, jihad is a weapon of the mind, and once released from prison, terrorists and terror sympathizers will still hold the same beliefs, which means they will still be a threat to the public.
STAR FM ONLINE, January 3, 2017
A German-Ghanaian Islamic State defector who claimed in news interviews to have refused to commit violence for the group has been charged by German authorities with murder and war crimes for his role in a mass execution in Syria in 2015.
Harry Sarfo, a 28-year-old German citizen, appeared in front-page articles and television broadcasts last year in which he offered a sanitized version of his involvement with the Islamic State and condemned the group’s tactics.
But his account began to unravel after The Washington Post obtained and published a video that showed Sarfo helping to move prisoners into position for a public execution in the ancient city of Palmyra, and apparently firing his own weapon as the men fell in a barrage of machine-gun fire.
Sarfo’s case highlighted the challenge facing European security services as they evaluate hundreds of returning fighters, many of whom have sought to obscure their ties to the Islamic State and involvement in violence.