In Germany, authorities arrested ten men on suspicions of robbing churches and schools to fund the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), Ahrar al-Sham, and Jund al-Sham in Syria. The men, aged 22 to 58 years old, resided in Cologne, Siegen, Bergisch-Gladbach, Kreuztal, and Netphen. Over 240 police officers were used in the raids.
The police said a group of forty-four men have been under surveillance since May 2013. A church in Cologne was robbed in December 2013. The robbers stole liturgical vessels and a monstrance. Prosecutor Ulf Willuhn said the men are suspected of supporting numerous terrorist organizations. Authorities also believe one of the men, Kais B.O., helped three Germans join the Islamic State.
Germany banned all Islamic State “activities in the country in September.”
“The terror organization [sic] Islamic State is a threat to public safety in Germany as well,” said Defense Minister Thomas de Mazière. “We are resolutely confronting this threat today. Today’s ban is directed solely against terrorists who abuse religion for their criminal goals. Germany is a well-fortified democracy, there’s no place here for a terrorist organisation [sic] which opposes the constitutional order as well as the notion of international understanding.”
On November 6, German authorities arrested four men, all Turkish nationals, for supporting the Islamic State. The raids occurred at apartments in Schöneberg. Authorities will try 24-year-old Ismail Issa “after he admitted he had returned from Syria” to purchase “supplies for insurgents” in Syria.