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CRIME

Police arrest suspected terrorist backer

German police have arrested a 30-year-old Turkish man suspected of recruiting fighters and collecting money and equipment for terrorist network al Qaida.

The federal prosecutor’s office said that the man, identified as Ömer Ö. had been providing support for al Qaida from Germany since 2006. He was arrested on Friday in Sindelfingen, southern Germany.

Officials said he was working on behalf of Aleem N., a German of Pakistani origin who was arrested in February on charges of membership in a terrorist organization.

“(Ömer Ö.) is accused of collecting cash and equipment in Germany for al Qaida fighters from the beginning of 2005 until the beginning of 2007, on the orders of … Aleem N.,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The items, which included a bullet-proof vest and a laptop, where handed to al Qaida officials in the Afghan-Pakistani border region, the office said.

The prosecutor’s office also said that Ömer Ö. had taken part in a training program at an al Qaida camp in 2006 after receiving a letter of recommendation from Aleem N.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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