Place of Birth: Al-Tamim, Iraq;
Abu Walaa is a 37-year-old Iraqi citizen and notorious preacher of membership in and supporting the Islamic State terrorist organisation. It is said to be Islamic State’s de facto leader in Germany.
He arrived in Germany as an asylum seeker in 2001, and was arrested in November 2016 after a long investigation by Germany’s security services.
He preached at the Deutschsprachiger Islamkreis Hildesheim e. V. (DIK) mosque founded in 2012, and took part as a speaker in a great number of Salafi events due to his popularity through his online video releases and his Facebook followers.
Abu Walaa became known as a “preacher without face” , because in many of his videos, his face would be hidden from the camera.
He is alleged to have recruited at least eight exremist in Europe (most of them very young) to join the Islamic State, including a pair of German twin brothers who committed a bloody suicide attack in Iraq in 2015.
Among those who Abu Walaa allegedly helped radicalise was at least one of three teenagers who were convicted of a 2016 bomb attack on a Sikh temple in Essen, western Germany.
Another terrorist with possible links to Abu Walaa was Anis Amri, the Tunisian who killed 12 people when he drove a truck into a Berlin Christmas market in 2016.
Amri was allegedly in contact with Abu Walaa’s co-defendant Boban Simeonovic, who is believed to have put the Tunisian asylum seeker up in his flat in Dortmund.
Abu Walaa was found guilty of belonging to a foreign terrorist organisation, helping to plan subversive violent acts and financing terrorism.
He was sentenced to ten years and six months in prison by a German court.
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