• Germany's news in English

Two court cases to test criminal links to Isis

The Local · 27 Jul 2015, 16:34

Published: 27 Jul 2015 16:34 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Between 400 and 700 Germans are estimated to have joined Isis so far.

Around 100 have died while fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Yet many allegedly begin contributing to the extremist group from within Germany itself - with members using criminal activity to fund terrorism in Middle Eastern countries, according to reports by Der Westen.

Last November, a nationwide raid culminated in the arrest of eight men in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Ranging from 21 to 36 years old, the men have already run up a bill of indictment 435 pages thick – and in Cologne, their case is about to come to trial.

The men are thought to have made around €10,000, the bulk of which would have gone directly to Isis, but which also would have funded the men's travel to the war zones.

The scope of their alleged crimes included stealing from a school cashier's office to shop break-ins and even plundering the offering box at a local Catholic church. The group also fraudulently claimed state benefits, using stolen Bulgarian passports and EU cards, allege Cologne prosecutors.

The German government estimates Isis's capital stock to be between one and two billion euros, much of which comes from donors.

Yet Isis also gleans an estimated $20,000 a day from oil smuggling, as well as raising funds through hostage-taking, blackmail and taxes of up to 15 percent on all who live in Isis-controlled areas.

Stuttgart gang makes €130,000 contribution to war fund

In Stuttgart, meanwhile, five men currently stand accused by federal prosecutors of providing Islamist group Ahrar al Sham with combat gear worth up to €130,000.

The group allegedly sent 7,500 pairs of boots and 6,000 military jackets through Turkey into Syria.

Artifact smuggling

Criminal archaeologist Michael Müller-Karpe told Der Westen the Isis are also selling ancient artifacts on the German market.

The rise of ISIS spells "a new level of threat to our archaeological heritage," he told Der Westen.

Story continues below…

"Millions" of items of cultural value have now found their way onto the market, he believes.

Culture Minister Monika Grütters has also warned that the country must take care not to become an center for illegal trade in cultural artifacts.

However, with the Federal Criminal Police Office stating it has "no knowledge of an Isis-driven trade in such artifacts within Germany," the scale of the problem remains uncertain.

"Grave robbing and the plundering of archaeological and antique finds both add to the income of Isis," the Bundestag reported back in March this year.

"It can be assumed that this trade exists on the European market, as well as in Gulf States and north American nations."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd