MOSCOW, September 15 (RIA Novosti) – A German citizen is going on trial in Frankfurt for allegedly being a member of the Islamic State (IS) extremist organization, The Associated Press reported Monday.
Twenty-year-old Kreshnik Berisha, who played for a Jewish football club, traveled to Syria in 2013 and stayed there for five months before returning to Germany, fighting for IS. Berisha could face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty of being a member of foreign terrorist organization.
The trial, expected to last until November, the first of its kind in the country, comes after Germany banned IS symbols and activities in the country.
"As Minister of the Interior, I forbid the operation of the terrorist group Islamic State in Germany, with immediate effect," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters at a press conference in Berlin on September 12. He added that IS is a threat even to German public safety.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq and seized vast areas in both countries, proclaiming an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.