‘Sharia Police’ vigilante force founder, Sven Lau (pictured above), has been arrested on the suspicion of supporting a terrorist organisation in Syria.
One of Germany’s most prominent Islamist preachers, 35-year-old Mr Lau is a German convert to Salafi Islam, a radically literal Sunni sect. He was arrested today in the town of Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, reports Deutsche Welle.
The former ‘Sharia Police’ Islamist is accused of supporting the Syria-based Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar or Army of Emigrants and Supporters (JMA), a group listed as a terrorist organisation in Germany. In fact the Federal Prosecutor’s office believes Mr. Lau was the main contact person for JMA in Germany’s Rhine region in 2013.
In September the JMA pledged allegiance to the Al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, but the breakaway wing that Mr. Lau is accused of supporting earlier threw its weight behind Islamic State (IS).
Mr. Lau is suspected of recruiting two jihadists in and around the western German city of Duesseldorf, and giving both financial and logistic support to the terrorist organisation under the guise of providing humanitarian aid. It is thought that he bought three night vision devices for the terrorists, and to have delivered 250 euros ($275) in cash to a Syrian-based German jihadist combatant.
Mr. Lau has attracted the attention of German law-enforcement authorities for some time. As Breitbart London previously reported, he was accused of being an IS recruiter after several visits to Syria where he says he drove ambulances delivering aid. He denied supporting IS when those charges were made, and a lack of evidence meant he was not convicted. His lawyer has not yet commented on the new allegations.
He first achieved notoriety with his so-called ‘Sharia Police’ efforts. Along with other believers, Mr. Lau patrolled the streets of the western city of Wuppertal in 2014 attempting to police public morals by urging young people to abstain from drinking, gambling, playing music and other activities deemed ‘ungodly’ according to his version of Islam.
Those on patrol wore orange vests bearing the words ‘Shariah Police’ and were accused of wearing uniform in public in violation of German federal law. However, in a ruling that sparked controversy a court in Wuppertal last week said the orange vests did not break the law, and the group will not be prosecuted.