Tajik man faces IS-related terrorism charges in Germany

BERLIN (AP) — Authorities have charged a Tajik man with membership in a terrorist organization on allegations he led a group plotting attacks in Germany in coordination with Islamic State leaders in Syria and Afghanistan, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Ravsan B., whose last name wasn’t released in line with German privacy laws, also faces charges of weapons violations, preparing an act of violence, and other counts.

The 30-year-old, who has been in custody since March 2019, is accused of forming a cell of the Islamic State in Germany with other Tajik nationals no later than January 2019 to carry out attacks and raise money for the extremist organization.

For the latter goal, they allegedly took a contract for $40,000 to kill an Albanian businessman and traveled to the country at the end of February, 2019. There they procured weapons from contacts and observed the target over several days but eventually experienced misgivings as to whether they were focused on the right man and returned to Germany without killing him, prosecutors said.

They also allegedly brought the weapons with them, and when back in Germany also procured explosives and detonators to use in an unspecified attack.

Acting on orders from an Islamic State member in Afghanistan, they decided to kill a man who had made critical comments about Islam, and take photographs to use as propaganda to raise support for the fight against “infidels,” prosecutors said.

On the day the attack was planned, the suspect was arrested by German police and the killing was prevented, prosecutors said.

Four other alleged members of the cell, identified only as Azizjon B., Muhammadali G., Farhodshoh K. and Sunatullokh K. — all also Tajiks — were arrested this February and charged with membership in a terrorist organization on allegations they were plotting an attack on American military facilities in Germany.

Another suspect, identified as Komron Zukhurov, was arrested in May in Albania on allegations he was part of the cell.

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