German ISIS ‘storm trooper’ gets jail time

A German court on Friday convicted an Islamic State (ISIS) "storm trooper" who helped track down deserters for the jihadist group in Syria, sentencing him to 4.5 years in prison.

Nils Donath, a 25-year-old German national, had traveled to Syria in October 2013 to join the jihadist group which controls a large swathe of Syria and Iraq.

Prosecutors, who had sought a sentence of four years and nine months, said at the trial that tasks Donath took on at the ISIS included assisting in interrogations, prison guard duty, as well as participation in the jihadist group's "storm troops," a special assault team.

As a member of this unit, Donath took part in 10-15 missions, in which he helped to track down ISIS deserters, fully aware they would be tortured to death, according to the prosecution.

Donath has been in police custody since his arrest upon his return to Germany in January 2015.

During the trial that opened in January, he told the court of his troubled teenage years, when he was a "pothead" before he converted to Islam in August 2011.

But he later "slipped into radicalism" and joined a local jihadist group called the "Lohberger Brigade" that he traveled with to Syria.

Thousands of Europeans have headed for Syria to fight for the ISIS group, and concern is growing about the threat that returning jihadists pose on their home soil.

AFP contributed to this report.


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