A court in Germany has sentenced five men to jail for having joined the al-Shabab group in Somalia.
The Frankfurt higher regional court on Thursday sentenced the five men, all German citizens, to prison terms ranging from three-and-a-half years to five years for becoming members of a foreign terrorist group.
A sixth man, who was allegedly jailed and tortured for months by the al-Qaeda-linked terror group on suspicion of being a Western spy, received a suspended sentence.
The men, most aged in their 20s and from the city of Bonn, and had traveled to Kenya in 2012 and then to Somalia the following year. Some of them had taken their wives and children along.
They served for 13-18 months on various Shabab bases after several months of training, according to the court.
In July 2014, they, however, decided to leave the terror group due to its “rigid treatment” of foreign militants, said the court.
Three of them were arrested when they flew back to Frankfurt. The two others had planned to travel to Syria to join the Daesh terrorist group but were arrested in Kenya and deported to Germany. The sixth man was arrested in Kenya and deported to Germany.
Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab militants since 2006.
The Takfiri terrorists have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone and Kenya.
Al-Shabab members, however, continue to carry out attacks in Mogadishu despite being driven out from their bases in 2011.