German court orders arrest of six men planning to establish paramilitary group in Yemen

A court in Germany has ordered the arrest of six former military servicemen who were attempting to establish a paramilitary force in Yemen to support Saudi Arabia in its military campaign. The six men…

German court orders arrest of six men planning to establish paramilitary group in Yemen

A court in Germany has ordered the arrest of six former military servicemen who were attempting to establish a paramilitary force in Yemen to support Saudi Arabia in its military campaign.

The six men were arrested on 24 March after members of the German military confiscated a training manual prepared by the group, which allegedly planned to transform an unnamed German holding company into a military base.

According to an investigation report, one of the men, Michael Brandt, had recruited retired former members of the army and received a military pension from the German armed forces. The 74-year-old had also managed to obtain a gun permit under the name Matias Zuckermann.

German prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for the six former military servicemen. Prosecutors said their services might be useful in a crisis.

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Peter Frank, the public prosecutor in Cologne, said the men were actively involved in the violent confrontation in Yemen. The six men were suspected of membership of a terrorist organisation and ordered held in preventive detention until 15 April, which will be the next legal filing date.

Germany offered training to Yemen in the 1990s, offering a service intended to help the country’s public services and infrastructure. The agreement was recalled in 2008 because of concerns about Yemen’s uncertain future and clashes with Iran.

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