Tue May 9, 2017 1:16PM
Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria (file photo)
Daesh Takfiri militants in Syria (file photo)

German security officials have arrested two Syrians suspected of fighting for Takfiri terrorists in the country amid growing concerns about the backlash of Western-sponsored militancy in Europe.

Federal prosecutors said 30-year-old Abdulmalk A. and 23-year-old Mousa H. A. were arrested in Berlin on Tuesday based on warrants issued last week.

Both men allegedly joined the al-Nusra Front, now called Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, in 2012 to fight against the Syrian government, with Abdulmalk A. being appointed as the commander of a unit in eastern Syria.

Prosecutors said Abdulmalk A. is also accused of committing a war crime, saying the man “captured a sniper of the Syrian regime in spring 2013 near the city of Tabqa, forced him to dig his own grave and cut his throat.”

Abdulmalk A. allegedly joined Daesh in mid-2013 and was put in charge of the Euphrates dam near the city of Tabqa, prosecutors pointed out.

Germany has been on high alert since July 2016, when a spate of attacks killed 15 people, including four attackers, and left dozens injured.

In December 2016, a Tunisian man drove a truck into a crowd at a Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people. Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault.

Germany's domestic security and intelligence agency, BfV, warned recently that Takfirism is spreading in the country.

An aerial view of the Christmas market area and the booths destroyed in a truck attack on December 19, 2016 in front of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin. (Photo by AFP)

According to a recent study by the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism based in The Hague, four European Union member states - Belgium, Britain, France and Germany - have been branded as the largest source of European militants fighting in Syria and Iraq

The four European countries contributed to the militancy in Iraq and Syria by having 2,838 of their nationals traveling to those countries for joining terror groups, the study said.

That is more than half of a total of 4,294 foreign fighters who have left the EU member states for those two Arab countries over the past few years.

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The independent think-tank, which has used data supplied by 26 EU countries, said that about 30 percent of those European militants have since returned home, while about 14 percent were killed on the battlefield. It said 17 percent of the group were women, and up to 23 percent were converts to Islam. Most of those militants came from urban areas or peripheral suburbs of the European cities.

The study warned the European governments about the risks associated with the return of those citizens, saying the states have lacked the proper policies to counter the flow.

Estimates suggest that some 30,000 foreign fighters from about 104 countries were fighting in Iraq and Syria between September 2014 and September 2015.