Jihadists (illustration)
Jihadists (illustration) iStock

Two Syrians have been arrested in Germany on suspicion of helping to carry out an execution by an Islamist terrorist group linked to Al-Qaeda, prosecutors said Monday, according to AFP.

Named only as Khedr A.K. and Sami A.S., the men are accused of having "jointly killed a person protected under international humanitarian law", prosecutors said.

The men were arrested and their apartments searched in Naumburg, near Leipzig, and in the western city of Essen.

Khedr A.K. joined the Ghurabaa Muhassan group in Syria, part of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organization, some time before July 2012, prosecutors said.

At that time, Jabhat al-Nusra was Al-Qaeda's sister organization in Syria.

On July 10, 2012, Khedr A.K. was involved in the execution of a lieutenant colonel with the Syrian army who had been captured by the group, they said.

He is accused of guarding the prisoner, who was bound by his hands and subjected to severe mistreatment, as he was transferred to his place of execution in Syria.

Sami A.S. filmed the subsequent shooting of the victim and commented on the video "in a glorifying manner" for propaganda purposes, prosecutors said, according to AFP.

Khedr A.K. is suspected of membership in Jabhat al-Nusra and Sami A.S. of having been a supporter of the group.

Both men appeared before the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Monday and are now in custody.

The first court case worldwide over state-sponsored torture by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's regime opened in April in Germany after the suspects were brought to the notice of the authorities by their victims.

Al-Nusra Front was the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda before the two groups cut ties in late 2016. The group now goes by the name Fateh al-Sham.

Al-Nusra Front is designated a "foreign terrorist organization" by the US. In 2017, the State Department offered a reward of up to $10 million for information about the whereabouts of the group’s leader, Abu Mohammed al-Golani.

The group is a rival of the Islamic State (ISIS), with Golani saying in 2015 that ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria is "illegitimate.