Report: ISIS Fighter Played for German Jewish Youth Soccer Team (VIDEO)
German security officials on Monday put on trial a Hamburg-born man, suspected of joining ISIS, who has played for the Jewish Makkabi Frankfurt soccer club, Israel’s NRG News reported.
Kreshnik Berisha, 20, reportedly from a Muslim family, fought with the terror group in Syria last year, according to prosecutors, before returning to his homeland several months later. He faces a decade in jail if convicted.
The trial comes in the wake of a recent move by Germany to enforce new statutes banning Islamic State propaganda and any other trappings of the group.
Authorities, who arrested Berisha at the Frankfurt airport in December, said that some 400 Germans have made a similar trek to join the international terror group.
Berisha, according to soccer club coach Alon Meyer, was a “very nice, unassuming,” youth. “There were no signs of what would follow later,” according to the Associated Press.
“This shows just how strong the forces must have been that turned a well-integrated player into an aspiring terrorist,” Meyer said, emphasizing “how strongly we have to confront this kind of racism – or we are in real trouble.”
Watch a video of Berisha entering the courtroom for the trial’s opening session: