Friday, 6 November 2015

Gang accused of looting churches to fund ISIS

Suspect hides his face in court
Photo: DPA via Rheinische Post
 Henri Neuendorf, 'Cologne Gang Accused of Looting German Churches to Fund ISIS', Art News Thursday, November 5, 2015
Over the last few weeks, German media has reported a disturbing increase in petty looting by ISIS supporters in Europe. The incident serves as a reminder that small-scale antiquities trafficking persists in the shadow of major plundering committed by insurgents. Eight young men appeared in a Cologne court last week to face burglary charges for breaking into local churches and schools, the Local reported. Prosecutors claimed the gang stole objects “dedicated to church services and religious veneration," such as collection boxes, crosses, and other objects. [...] The men allegedly stole a total of €19,000 ($20,824) worth of items in a series of burglaries committed between 2011 and 2014, which, according to chief prosecutor Nadja Gudermann, were sold to support jihadist insurgents in the Syrian civil war. 
See also Sam Hardy, A gang in Germany robbed assets from churches and schools to fund jihad in Syria' Conflict Antiquities October 27, 2015

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