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Members of Berlin's sniper unit of special police force PSK and part of the SEK move into an apartment during a drill in Berlin, April 12, 2006. Reuters

German authorities arrested two Syrian men over suspicions that they were members of the Islamic extremist group Nusra Front in a police crackdown against terrorists Wednesday and Thursday in the western cities of Giessen and Düsseldorf. One of the men taken into custody was Abdalfatah H.A., 35, who is suspected of overseeing the killing of 36 Syrian government employees amid its bloody civil war in March 2013.

Abdalfatah H.A., whose full surname was not released due to German privacy rules, has been charged with war crimes over carrying out “so-called Sharia death sentences" the federal prosecutor’s office said Thursday. He joined the terrorist group in 2013 and led a group of its militants to overtake a substantial weapons storage facility for the Syrian government near the city of Mahin in November of that year.

The other man arrested was Abdulrahman A.A., 26, who fought in the same Islamic militant group as Abdalfatah H.A. against the Syrian government troops, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Nusra Front was created as the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda, the extremist Islamic group that sent 19 of its militants to carry out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. This group included Abd Arahman A.K., a Syrian national who was arrested in Germany in June 2016 over allegedly planning to carry out a bomb attack in Düsseldorf.

Both men will appear before a federal judge Thursday. They were taken into custody after German police raided their apartments.

Human rights groups like the European Center For Constitutional Rights and Human Rights have called for European governments to bring those suspected of committing war crimes in the Syrian Civil War to trial. The group announced Thursday they submitted the first criminal complaint in Germany against six senior intelligence officers of the Syrian military accused of war crimes in an effort to resolve the armed conflict that has claimed the lives of roughly 470,000 people. The move allows German federal judges to convict those found to have committed war crimes under the principles of universal jurisdiction.

Frauke Koehler, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office, would not confirm media reports that Abdulrahman A.A. came to Germany as an asylum seeker. Nearly 430,000 of the 1.1 million people registered as asylum seekers in Germany in 2015 were Syrians, who were likely fleeing the five-year civil war.