On his last visit to the Saarland region of Germany, on the border with France, RT’s Peter Oliver met with a group of Assyrian Christians who had been held hostage by ISIS.
They recalled that while being held in ISIS captivity, the only thing they prayed for was to be shot instead of being beheaded.
The same community, now living in the city of Saarlouis, say the horrors of that experience have followed them all the way to Germany, after they found out that a man they say had ties to ISIS is living among them.
A refugee, who only agreed to speak to RT on condition of anonymity, said he is positive the man living in his town is the same member of ISIS he encountered in Syria.
“He stopped me many times at the checkpoint near our village; we were even able to find him on Facebook, I go to the web page and there’s this guy again,” the refugee said.
When the man first saw the terrorist in Germany, his reaction was that of panic.
“I was very scared that this terrorist is in a democratic state like Germany just living here,” the refugee told RT, adding that he does not understand how those who kept whole families hostage now have Syrian refugee status in Germany.
The Assyrian community now feels very insecure as “this was not the first case” a former ISIS member had been recognized, the man said. He added that some people are even considering leaving Germany, but do not know where to run to.
Community leaders say that once they were convinced the ‘refugee’ was in fact a former terrorist, they went straight to the police.
“But those people were killers in Syria and fly the ISIS flag here even. Such people should have no place in Germany,” Kanoun said.
Police confirmed that an investigation is underway, but no charges relating to terrorism or any other crime have been brought.
As the investigation continues, and with the influx of refugees showing no signs of slowing, the question is being asked as to who exactly is coming to Europe.
“This is a very difficult point for our community here. Those victims of kidnapping were brought here for safety and security, and then these terrorists are here,” Kanoun said, adding that the German authorities “are being very gentle with them, “reiterating that his compatriots might have to flee again.
“This is tragic that we will again be forced to be refugees, this time in a Christian state that cannot protect us,” Kanoun said.
Last February, ISIS kidnapped around 250 Assyrian Christians and demanded ransoms of $100,000 per person. Some have since been released but many remain in captivity.
“ISIS came to our village, they devastated our fields, burnt our churches, and tore apart our lives. They kidnapped us, murdered us. We have an unbearable feeling of loss,” a former hostage told RT.
The German security services are currently preparing findings on more than 790 Germans who have traveled to Syria, the National Police Bureau of Saarland reported.