Berlin: In a bid to fund their fight in Syria, eight Islamic State symapthisers allegedly stole money from churches and schools in Germany.
The group, which appeared before a court in the German city of Cologne on Wednesday, is believed to have plundered goods worth EUR 19,000 from 2011-2014. How much of it landed in the hands of fighters in Syria is unknown.
As per prosecutors, the arrested stole collection boxes, crosses and objects “dedicated to church services and religious veneration” from churches, and laptops and money from schools.
The leader of the gang, hailing from Morocco, is also charged with actively recruiting fighters for the group.
According to an August report by The Telegraph, there are an estimated 20,000 foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, and 5,000 of those are from Europe.