A Syrian refugee named Saleh A., who arrived to Germany via the Balkan route, has been sentenced to seven years in prison for fighting for the Daesh terrorist group on Wednesday, Berliner Zeitung reported.
The Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court found the man guilty of being a member of two terrorist organizations, but stated that he had lied about being involved in planning a bombing attack in Dusseldorf.
Saleh A. went to the police in Paris in 2016 and claimed that he was ordered to carry out a terrorist attack in Dusseldorf. He was then extradited to Germany in September 2016 and spent many months in custody, along with two other alleged suspects who, as he said, had been organizing the plot.
The news caused a big fuss, but later it turned out that the refugee made up the whole thing, hoping "to receive a reward, win the right to stay in Germany and bring over his family."
The two suspects, an Algerian and a Jordanian, were released after spending about 18 months in pre-trial detention. Although the court admitted that Saleh A. had not been plotting an attack on German soil, it still ruled that he was waging jihad as part of Daesh and killed a Syrian army sniper in 2013.
The man's lawyer appealed for a lighter sentence, claiming that his client had been forced to join the terrorist organization.
Earlier, Germany's Interior Ministry revealed that at least two extremists had been allowed to enter the country due to manipulations in the application processing system by a migration authority. Another 44 accepted newcomers were also suspected of having ties to Islamist groups.
The statement came amid an inquiry into the activities of the Bremen office of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, which has reportedly permitted over 80 migrants to cross Germany's borders since 2000 instead of pointing them out to authorities.