German man sentenced for joining al-Shabab Islamic extremists in Somalia


DW | Published – October 27, 2017


German courts have sentenced a number of German nationals for joining foreign Islamist militants in recent years. Abshir A. from Hessen has been the latest.

A court in the German city of Frankfurt on Friday found a German national guilty of joining al-Shabab in Somalia, an Islamist terrorist group linked to al-Qaida. The court sentenced the man, Abshir A., to two years and ten months in prison.

A., who was born in the Somali capital Mogadishu but grew up in the German state of Hessen, fought along al-Shabab militants between early 2012 and early 2014.

The 28-year-old completed four months of combat training upon arrival before being transferred to an al-Shabab base, but was forced to stop fighting due to an unidentified physical affliction. A. denied ever fighting with the militant group.

German police arrested A. after he arrived at Frankfurt airport with falsified documents in July 2016.

Read more: Germany terrorism prosecution cases soar: report

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Death toll rises after Somalia bombings

Al-Shabab has been fighting the internationally-backed Somali government for years to try and establish an Islamist state. Somali officials have blamed a deadly explosion in Mogadishu that killed over 250 people in October on the group.

Al-Shabab has also committed multiple terrorist attacks in other countries in eastern Africa.

German courts have sentenced a number of German nationals for joining foreign Islamist groups in recent years.

In 2016, five men were given prison sentences for joining al-Shabab and three other men prison sentences for joining extremist groups in Syria.

– amp/kms (AFP, dpa)

Editor’s note: Deutsche Welle follows the German press code, which stresses the importance of protecting the privacy of suspected criminals or victims and obliges us to refrain from revealing full names in such cases.


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