Spokesman For Violent Islamist Group Arrested on War Crimes Charges, Was in France on Student Visa

Rebel forces from Jaysh al-Islam (Army of Islam) stand on a tank as they hold a position on August 24, 2015 near the frontline in the al-Zahra area, on the northwestern outskirts of Aleppo, where opposition fighters have been battling Syrian pro-government forces near the Air Force Intelligence headquarters. AFP …
ZEIN AL-RIFAI/AFP via Getty Images

French authorities have arrested a former spokesman for an armed Syrian Islamist group for complicity in war crimes who was in France on an Erasmus student visa.

Investigators arrested Majdi Mustafa Nameh, who was using the alias Islam Alloush, in Marseille last week on torture and war crimes charges. On Saturday, Islamist group Jaysh al-Islam demanded his release, newspaper Le Figaro reports.

Nameh had acted as a former spokesman for Jaysh al-Islam which operates in Syria and fought against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the Damascus region during the Syrian civil war.

The group published a statement on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, popular with radical Islamist groups, claiming that Nameh had cut ties with the group and urged authorities to drop any and all charges.

Human rights groups have criticised Jaych al-Islam in the past and the group has been accused of kidnapping lawyer and journalist Razan Zeitouneh, along with her husband and two others, in December of 2014.

The group has also been accused of torturing prisoners, filming the executions of Islamic State prisoners, and engaging in the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in 2016.

Nameh is just the latest radical Islamist migrant to be investigated or tried in Europe for participating in war crimes since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.

While some migrants have been arrested and charged for war crimes, such as a 29-year-old Syrian man in Germany in 2017,  some have estimated that the number of war criminals let into Europe during the migrant crisis could be in the thousands in Germany alone.

A report released in March of last year claimed that from 2014 to 2019 the German government allowed around 5,000 migrants to enter the country who were subject to investigations for violating international laws but investigated very few of them.

Sweden, which also took in a large share of migrants in 2015, saw just 12 asylum seekers reported for potential war crimes charges, a number that rose to 52 in 2017.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)breitbart.com


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