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Arrest in NRW: Terror suspect applied to be steward for the European Championship

Arrest in NRW
Terror suspect applied to be a steward for the European Championship

A young man from Bonn applies to be a security guard for events during the European Football Championship. When the 23-year-old is checked, the authorities become suspicious – and continue to investigate. The man is now in custody.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federal Prosecutor's Office has arrested a suspected IS supporter. The suspect was arrested on Friday at Cologne/Bonn Airport, a spokesman for the Karlsruhe authority said upon request. The investigators accuse the man, who has German-Moroccan-Polish nationality, of having transferred a total of almost 1,700 US dollars to an account of the terrorist organization Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISPK) via a cryptocurrency exchange in September 2023.

The suspect is reportedly being investigated on suspicion of supporting a terrorist organization abroad and violating foreign trade law. The subject of the arrest warrant is the money payments, said the spokesman. The suspected terrorist supporter has been in custody since Friday evening.

The “Bild” newspaper had previously reported on the case – and also on a connection to the upcoming European Football Championship in Germany. The spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor's Office did not want to comment on the report. A statement is planned for the beginning of next week.

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According to “Bild” information, Soufian T. from Bonn had applied for so-called side events outside of the football stadiums, including public viewings. When the application was checked, it emerged that the State Security and the Office for the Protection of the Constitution had evidence that the 23-year-old was an Islamist. Based on the information, the Cologne Police Headquarters had refused accreditation for the European Championship.

A short time later, it emerged that Soufian T. had also applied for accreditation for the major events “Rock am Ring” and the “24 Hours of Nürburgring”. These were also rejected. According to the “Bild” newspaper, further investigations revealed that the Islamist had already booked a flight ticket to Istanbul at the beginning of May, but without a return flight. Because the suspicion of terrorism continued to grow, the Federal Prosecutor's Office finally got involved.

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