Austria arrests takfiri cleric over recruiting Syria militants

Austria arrests takfiri cleric over recruiting Syria militants
Thu Jun 5, 2014 16:44:06

Austrian police have detained a Chechen senior takfiri cleric for allegedly recruiting young men to fight for the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria, prosecutors confirmed Thursday.

The 41-year old extremist figure, who is suspected of aiding terrorists, was detained Monday in Graz after four young Chechens from his house of prayer were found to have died in Syria, said Hansjoerg Bacher, spokesman of the Graz prosecutor's office.

The arrest became known hours before EU interior ministers were set to meet in Luxembourg, with the threat posed by radicalized foreign militants returning from Syria high on their agenda.

The planned discussions were also prompted by last month's deadly shooting at the Brussels Jewish Museum, in which the suspect is 29-year-old militant, who is believed to have trained with extremists in Syria.

In Austria, some 100 militants have been recruited to fight against Syrian government forces. A large share belong to the Chechen community, according to an Austrian official who spoke on condition of anonymity.


string(184) "[{"id":"1585191","sort":"3213389","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/04/14/alalam_635330934783344736_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Two teenage girls leave Austria to join militants in Syria"} ]"