German lawmakers want medals for Syrians who caught terrorist suspect

Syrian refugees who captured and turned in a terrorist suspect to German police should be decorated with state honours, lawmakers told the Bild newspaper on Wednesday.

The three Syrians handed their 22-year-old compatriot, Jaber al-Bakr, over to police in the eastern city of Leipzig on Monday after realizing he was being sought as a suspect in a possible terrorist plot linked to the Islamic State extremist group.

Their action brought to an end a dramatic two-day nationwide manhunt after al-Bakr narrowly escaped police capture during a raid on his flat in the city of Chemnitz, where the authorities found a stash of explosives and other material.

Johannes Kahrs, a defence expert for the Social Democrats, said two of the three deserved Germany's Federal Cross of Merit. "What they did is a testament of great respect towards their German hosts," he told Bild.

He added that a better example of integration among migrants "was unimaginable."

Juergen Klimke of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats said the award should be given as a "strong signal in both directions - to the German population and to other refugees," according to the report. He was quoted as saying that "recognition, thanks and bravery are worth it."

The three men, dubbed heroes by the country's media, have gone into hiding, reportedly out of fear that Islamic State militants would exact revenge on them.

Last update: Wed, 12/10/2016 - 13:47
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