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Germany Arrests Islamic Extremist on Terror Charges

  • VOA News

FILE - Defendants hide their faces as they wait for the start of their trial in a courtroom in Calle, Germany, Nov. 30, 2015. The suspected former Islamic State (IS) fighters are accused of being members of a terrorist group.

FILE - Defendants hide their faces as they wait for the start of their trial in a courtroom in Calle, Germany, Nov. 30, 2015. The suspected former Islamic State (IS) fighters are accused of being members of a terrorist group.

Germany has arrested one of its most prominent Islamic extremists on charges he supported a foreign terrorist group.

German prosecutors announced Tuesday that they have arrested 35-year-old Salafist Sven Lau on four counts of aiding the Syria-based group known as Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, or JAMWA. The group has been linked to Islamic State.

Lau is suspected of recruiting fighters for the group as well as providing financial and material support.

Lau, a convert to Islam, gained fame last year when he organized a force of so-called "Sharia police" in the German city of Wuppertal. The men wore orange jackets marked "Sharia Police" and patrolled the streets trying to enforce strict adherence to Islamic law, demanding that nightclub patrons stop drinking, gambling, and listening to music.

A Wuppertal court last Thursday decided not to prosecute the men. The ruling has sparked nationwide controversy.

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