Germany detains 2 ex-soldiers trying to form mercenary group

International

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities on Wednesday detained two former soldiers who are alleged to have tried to form a mercenary group that would have intervened in the military conflict in Yemen.

Federal prosecutors said the men, identified only as Arend-Adolf G. and Achim A. in keeping with Germany privacy laws, were detained in southern Germany. Both are German citizens and former members of the Bundeswehr.

The men are accused of being ringleaders in the formation of a terror organization, prosecutors said in a statement.

Together they are alleged to have decided in early 2021 to create their own mercenary group made up of between 100 and 150 former soldiers or members of the police.

The men’s primary motivation was to earn about 40,000 euros ($47,000) each per month by offering the group’s services to third parties, specifically Saudi Arabia, prosecutors said. The oil-rich kingdom has intervened in the conflict in neighboring Yemen against the Houthi rebel group.

Prosecutors said the men’s attempts to contact Saudi officials were unsuccessful.

The men were aware that their plans for military intervention in Yemen would inevitably require them to kill people, and they were aware that civilians might be injured and killed too, prosecutors said.

Arend-Adolf G. is alleged to have won over at least seven people for the plan, they added.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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