A 23-year-old Syrian man was arrested in Germany Wednesday over suspected links to an Islamic State media group.
The German federal prosecutor’s office, which announced the arrest Thursday, accused the suspect, referred to as “Mohammed G.,” of working on behalf of the “Amaq” news agency.
According to a statement from German authorities, Mohammed G. began his work soon after arriving in Germany in September of 2015.
“Once he arrived, he acted as a contact person between the news agency Amaq, which is considered part of Islamic State, and possible assailants of the terror organization,” a statement from the prosector’s office said.
During his time in Germany, Mohammad G. is said to have contacted a Syrian man in Sweden over social media who would later go on to use a Molotov cocktail against a Malmo community center.
At the request of Amaq, Mohammad G. contacted the man in Sweden in order to confirm details of the attack.
“One day after this attack, the accused demanded from his contact person (in Sweden) a personal claim of this deed,” the statement said. “The background was that Amaq did not want to issue a report about the attack without such a claim.”
Upon receiving confirmation, Amaq would go on to take credit for the attack on behalf of ISIS in its weekly newsletter.
“After that, IS claimed the attack in the al-Naba newspaper which it publishes,” the statement added.
Despite videos of ISIS jihadists killing people, an image of an ISIS flag and instructions on making explosive detonators all being found on the Syrian attacker’s computer, a district court judge in Sweden attempted to label the incident as arson instead of terrorism.
As noted by The New York Times, Amaq has been used by ISIS to claim responsibility for some of its most high-profile attacks.
“It was on Amaq that ISIS first claimed a couple’s shooting rampage in San Bernardino, Calif., in 2015, and the deaths of 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub in 2016,” The Times states. “In the last week it claimed a terrorist attack in London; a hostage-taking in Melbourne, Australia; and a pair of deadly assaults in Tehran.”
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