Islamic extremist arrested in Germany on terror charge
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Islamic extremist arrested in Germany on terror charge

Prominent Salafi preacher known for leading ‘Sharia police’ accused of supporting jihadist group in Syria

Islamist preacher Sven Lau aka Abu Adam during a rally on July 19, 2014 in Hamburg, northern Germany. (AFP Photo/DPA/Markus Scholz)
Islamist preacher Sven Lau aka Abu Adam during a rally on July 19, 2014 in Hamburg, northern Germany. (AFP Photo/DPA/Markus Scholz)

One of Germany’s most prominent Islamic extremists has been arrested on suspicion of supporting a foreign terror group.

Federal prosecutors said Sven Lau was arrested Tuesday in western Germany over allegations he has been funding a terrorist group in Syria.

He is suspected of four counts of supporting the group Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar, or JAMWA, which was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States last year.

In September the group pledged allegiance to the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda and a rival jihadist organization to Islamic State.

German prosecutors said in a statement Tuesday that the 35-year-old Lau was the go-to contact for extremists wanting to fight for JAMWA in Syria.

He is also suspected of providing financial and material support to the group.

Lau, a convert to Islam, made headlines last year when he attempted to establish a “Sharia police” in the city of Wuppertal to enforce a strict interpretation of Islam.

The 'Sharia Police' in Wuppertal, Germany (photo credit: Shariah Police/ Facebook)
The ‘Sharia police’ in Wuppertal, Germany (photo credit: Shariah Police/ Facebook)

A video circulated online shows Lau telling nightclub-goers to refrain from drinking alcohol and listening to music and arcade customers not to play games for money.

German intelligence last year voiced concern over the growing number of Salafists, who espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam, and said they numbered around 4,500 in the country.

“Salafists and fanatics should no longer be able to hide behind religious freedom, even Islamic groups concerned with the reputation of Muslims see it that way,” said German daily newspaper Die Welt.

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