German authorities detained an Islamist who was deported from Turkey with his family on Friday as Ankara continued to deport individuals with alleged affiliations to the Islamic State terrorist group to their European countries of origin.
This was disclosed by Martin Pallgen, a spokesman for the Berlin state interior ministry.
Pallgen said, “The father was transferred to the judicial authorities on the basis of an existing arrest warrant.”
The warrant is understood not to be terrorism-related.
The man, who is considered a member of the Salafist movement, is currently in a Berlin prison awaiting transfer to Lower Saxony.
Pallgen added that the rest of the family – the suspect’s wife, his two sons, two daughters, and one grandchild – had left Berlin, where they arrived late Thursday from Turkey.
Turkey described them as “foreign terrorist fighters”.
Sources told dpa that one of the suspect’s sons, who grew up in the German city of Hildesheim, had contact to Abu Walaa, an Islamist preacher who is currently on trial alongside four other people on suspicion of recruiting fighters for Islamic State.
Turkey started repatriating foreign Islamic State fighters to their home countries on Monday, repeatedly saying that the country was “not a hotel” for members of the extremist group.
On Friday night, two German women deported from Turkey arrived at Frankfurt Airport and went through border control, police told dpa.
What happens to them now is in the hands of German security services, the police spokesman added.
Officials from Germany’s Federal Criminal Police (BKA) were on board the flight, according to security sources.
Private Turkish news agency DHA earlier reported that “foreign terrorist fighters” with German citizenship were deported, but the Interior Ministry in Ankara did not confirm it.
One of the women, born in 1998, had succeeded in fleeing from al-Hol prison camp in Syria, which was guarded by Kurds, according to dpa sources.
She was last in deportation custody in the Turkish town of Gaziantep, they said.
A woman from the city of Hanover was also said to have been put on the plane.
She reportedly headed to Turkey after leaving the Syrian prison camp of Ain Issa, which has been dissolved.
The whereabouts of many Islamic State suspects are in doubt after a Turkish invasion in north-east Syria caused the Kurdish-led forces there to abandon the prisons that they had been guarding in the region.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday that each suspected Islamist deported by Turkey would be assessed in counter-terrorism centres run by the federal government and the individual states.
“Naturally it will be ensured that no danger arises from these people,” she said, adding that if the authorities did deem them a threat “the usual (legal) procedures” would apply.
Separately, a German court ruled that a mother and her two children must be allowed to return to Germany from a Syrian camp for displaced persons.
The woman had travelled to the region controlled by Islamic State, a spokeswoman for the Berlin-Brandenburg administrative court said.
The woman’s third child had already been allowed into Germany to receive medical treatment, she said.
Earlier, Die Welt newspaper reported that legal action taken by the government against the return had failed.
The court found that there was no concrete evidence that the mother posed a threat.
Her children, aged 4 and 6, were dependent on her for care, it found.
Last week, a German court ruled that a mother and her three small children should be allowed to return from a Syrian camp.
The Foreign Ministry had initiated proceedings to return the children but had rejected the mother. (dpa/NAN)