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German prosecutors seek 5-year for Syrian in IS trial

BERLIN — Prosecutors have asked a German court to sentence a Syrian man to five years in prison for his alleged membership in the Islamic State group and for planning an attack in Berlin.

Defence lawyers urged Berlin's criminal court Thursday to acquit their client. Judges are expected to rule Friday.

Prosecutors say Shaas al-Mohammad joined IS in Syria in 2013 and performed military and civilian duties before seeking asylum in Germany two years later. They also allege that he scouted Berlin's Brandenburg Gate and other landmarks in apparent preparation for an attack.

Al-Mohammad's lawyer denies the 20-year-old was an IS member and argues he had no motivation to carry out attacks in Germany.

The trial is unrelated to last year's deadly attack on a Berlin Christmas market, which was claimed by IS.

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