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CRIME

German man jailed over IS ties but cleared of skating rink attack plot

A Stuttgart court on Wednesday sentenced a German man to prison for his involvement with the Islamic State jihadist group, but cleared him of plotting to attack a skating rink.

German man jailed over IS ties but cleared of skating rink attack plot
Photo: DPA

Dasbar W. was arrested in December 2017 for allegedly planning to drive into crowds at an ice rink in Karlsruhe.

The court found insufficient proof to convict him for the alleged plot, but handed Dasbar W. five and a half years in jail for his links with the IS group.

Born in Germany, Dasbar W. moved with his parents to their home country of Iraq in 2006.

He returned to Germany in 2014 and a year later made contact in online chat groups with other IS sympathisers.

He travelled back to Iraq in June 2015 and began acting as a middleman between a high-ranking IS member and a prominent imam in Erbil.

Prosecutors said he returned to Germany after receiving an order from the IS contact to carry out an attack — but he failed to execute the task as two French students sharing an apartment with him warned the police.

The defendant then went back again to Erbil and spied on the prime minister's office as a potential target of attack.

He was caught and jailed for two months in Iraq.

Several months after his release, he returned once more to Germany in July
2017.

Dasbar W.'s arrest in December 2017 came a year after a Christmas market attack in Berlin that killed 12 people.

Rejected asylum seeker Anis Amri, a Tunisian, ploughed a truck into the market on December 19, 2016 before being shot dead while on the run days later in Italy.

READ ALSO: Berlin remembers victims of Christmas market terror attack three years on

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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