Two individuals of Syrian origin have been apprehended in Germany under suspicion of affiliating with extremist organizations. Authorities have disclosed that one of the detainees is believed to have played a role in a 2013 incident in eastern Syria, resulting in the death of over 60 civilians and combatants.
Germany’s federal prosecutor’s office, in compliance with privacy regulations, has identified the suspects as “Amer A” and “Bassel A.” Both individuals stand accused of being associated with a foreign terrorist entity known as Liwa Jund ar-Rahman, an armed insurgent group reportedly founded and led by Amer A in February 2013.
Furthermore, Amer A faces allegations of war crimes, specifically involving forced displacement and purported membership within the Islamic State (ISIS). These charges are connected to a June 2013 attack in the village of Hatla, located in Syria’s eastern Deir-ez-Zor governorate, during which approximately 60 Shia residents lost their lives.
Prosecutors have indicated that this attack was executed collaboratively by Liwa Jund ar-Rahman, under Amer A’s leadership, along with other extremist groups. Additionally, prosecutors have emphasized that survivors of the attack were coerced into fleeing either to other parts of Syria or abroad through tactics such as intentionally instilling fear of death, as well as engaging in acts of arson and looting.
This campaign of forced displacement marked the effective end of the Shiite community’s presence in Hatla, as per the authorities’ statement. Furthermore, it has been revealed that Amer A aligned himself with ISIS in July 2014 and took command of his group within the organization.
As for Bassel A, prosecutors have clarified that he held a “significant military role” within his group by late 2013 and led AQAP (aal-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) units in engagements against Syrian government forces, notably at the Deir ez-Zor military airport, in both December of that year and April 2014.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered the continued detention of the suspects, pending a potential indictment.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.