Hate preacher in Germany goes on trial

FRANKFURT Notorious hate preacher Abu Walaa, described as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's (ISIS) de facto leader in Germany, goes on trial today. He is accused of radicalising young men and running a jihadist network linked to the Berlin Christmas market attacker.

Nicknamed "the faceless preacher" for showing his back to the camera in propaganda videos, the 33-year-old Iraqi was arrested last November on suspicion of being the "central figure" in an ISIS recruitment ring.

Walaa will appear before a court in the northern German city of Celle alongside four co-defendants accused of supporting ISIS. The five created a "pan-regional Salafist-jihadist network" in which Walaa "took on the leading role as the representative of the so-called Islamic State in Germany," prosecutors said.- AFP