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Trial Begins for German Man Accused of Joining Syria Terrorist Group

FILE - German police patrol the Hauptbahnhof, Berlin's main train station, Jan. 17, 2015.

A German man of Afghan descent facing charges including membership in a terrorist group is on trial in the city of Munich.

Prosecutors accuse the defendant, identified as Harun P, of once belonging to the Islamic terrorist group Junud al-Sham in Syria, saying he assisted in an attack on a Syria prison.

A Munich court spokesman said the now 27-year-old man trained in Syria to become a fighter and helped in the transfer of a German girl who traveled to Syria to marry an Islamist fighter. The spokesman said the plan involving the girl did not succeed because she returned to Germany.

A lawyer for Harun P. said he was radicalized in Germany before going to Syria.

Meanwhile, German police raided 13 properties Tuesday in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany, a follow-up to last week's arrest of two men suspected of recruiting fighters for the Islamic State group.

A police spokesman said the residents of the raided properties were alleged associates of the two men arrested Friday.

The Deutsche Welle broadcast service reported the residents were not treated as suspects, but various objects, including computer hard drives, had been confiscated.

Police throughout Europe have been on heightened alert since the terrorist attacks in France earlier this month.

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