Abdelkarim El B

Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


Abdelkarim El B. was born in Germany in 1986. After radicalising in Germany, he moved to Syria in September 2013, where he was a registered member of the so-called “Islamic state” (IS) fighting close to Aleppo.

During his time in Syria, he allegedly filmed with his mobile phone IS members mutilating a dead soldier of the opposing side while commenting on the incident in a degrading manner. After the head of the soldier had been severed from his corpse, El B. and his fellow fighters allegedly played with it.

Legal Procedure

El B. was first arrested in Turkey on 9 February 2014 and released on 22 January 2015. He immediately came back to Germany. Shortly after his return, he was arrested in Frankfurt in February 2015.

El B. was originally charged with encouraging violent threats to national security. On 31 May 2016, he was additionally charged with the war crime of treating a person who is required to be protected under international humanitarian law in a gravely humiliating or degrading manner.

The trial began on 22 August 2016 before the Higher Regional Court in Frankfurt. During the hearing, he admitted his participation in the scene recorded with his mobile phone.

On 8 November 2016, El B. was found guilty of committing a war crime, of being member of a terrorist organization and of violation of the Military Weapons Control Law (KWKG) and sentenced to 8 years and 6 months’ imprisonment.