Tag Archives: Police

Toulouse Killer Allies Himself With Al-Qaida

UPDATE: II:

In the past hours some information that had emerged this morning has been corrected

  • Mohamed Merah is a 23 year-old French citizen of Algerian origin, born in October 1988
  • Earlier reports suggested Merah was arrested by Afghan police in December 2007 in Kandahar and sentenced to three years followed by a massive Taliban prison break in 2008.  These reports are now DENIED by Kandahar news agencies. No French national named Mohamed Merah has been detained in Kandahar, Afghan news agencies are now reporting.
  • Meanwhile it is confirmed by French authorities that Merah has in fact traveled to the Af-Pak region at least twice. In November 2010 Merah was allegedly checked by security forces in the South Afghan city of Kandahar but was not arrested.
  • According to French security officials Mohamed Merah also traveled to Afghanistan in 2011 but had to return because of Hepatitis A infection. Prior to this trip Merah traveled to Pakistan on a tourist visa in August 2011 and made his way to the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan.
  • Merah´s mother raised five children – three son and two daughters – as a single mother.
  • Mohamed´s 29 year-old brother Abdelkader was under surveillance for days as French intelligence identified several Islamists in the Toulouse area as possible suspects in the case of the soldiers´killings in Montabaun.
  • Abdelkader Merah according to French prosecution had fought in Iraq as a Jihadi militants and then returned to France. French intelligence monitored him as a potential terrorist. During today´s police operation explosives were found inside Abdelkader Merah´s car.

UPDATE I:

One year ago Mohamed Merah, a 24 23 year-old French citizen of Algerian origin locked up in an Afghan prison cell in the city of Kandahar. He had been arrested in November 2010 December 2007 as part of an Al-Qaida-Taliban cell which was planting bombs in the city. Merah among others was sentenced to three years in prison for his terrorist activities.

In April 2011  June 2008 dozens of Taliban insurgents attacked Sarposa Prison, the main prison in Kandahar. They managed to free more than 1,200 inmates in this assault. Amongst those prisoners freed that night was Mohamed Merah.

Allegedly the 24 year-old from Toulouse re-joined Al-Qaida after he was freed from prison and received further terrorist training.

When Merah returned to France he was -according to French media reports – under the surveillance of French intelligence agency DCRI. Merah joined the Salafist group “Frosane Alizza” operating in France and was known as a Jihadi sympathizer.

Meanwhile it is confirmed Mohamed Merah is the man who shot Jewish students and French soldiers in Toulouse and Montabaun. French police was able to track down the IP adress of the computer of Merah´s brother. The killer had used the computer to contact his first victim, a French soldier of North African descent, and pretended to be interested in buying a motorbike the soldier was selling.

Unconfirmed information is now spreading Merah tried to join the French Foreign League in 2010 but was not accepted. Allegedly he was a bodybuilder, too. Merah´s brother Abdelkader (26) is allegedly also part of the Salafist community in Toulouse.

Mohamed Merah has serve two prison terms in France in 2007 and 2009. About 18 acts of violence and crime have recorded in relation with Merah, the last one being “driving without license” only a few weeks ago according to his lawyer.

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“Cut Off The Dead Body´s Head”- Al-Qaida Strategy Papers Discovered In Berlin

by Florian Flade

In Berlin two suspected Islamist terrorists are standing trial since January. Austrian Maqsood L. and Berlin resident Yusuf O. met in a Al-Qaida training camp in Waziristan and were tasked to recruit fellow Islamists in Europe to form terrorist cells.

In 2011 Yusuf O. and Maqsood L. left Pakistan´s tribal region and traveled to Hungary. Yusuf O. of Berlin then traveled to Maqsood´s home town of Vienna to make contact with Maqsood´s old friends. Maqsood himself traveled to Berlin to search for recruits in Yusuf´s former community.

The two men thought they were able to outsmart German and Austrian intelligence by not returning to their original home town. They were wrong. Maqsood L. was arrested in Berlin on May 16 2011 and Austrian police arrested Yusuf O.  in Vienna on May 31 2011.

Former Austrian soldier Maqsood L. was carrying USB sticks and a SD memory card in his underwear when police arrested him. The hardware was intensifly checked by German federal police BKA. It took IT experts several weeks until they were able to recover and unpack the files. Most of them had been hidden in movie and image files using camouflage and cryptic software. The RAR-Archive files had curious names, for example: “sexytanja.rar”.

Some of the original files were bearing the names of porn movies and pop songs. One movie file contained 142 hidden document files. Among them: PDF terrorist training manuals in German, English and Arabic.

Five documents presumably written by Al-Qaida officials were of great interest for Germany´s intelligence. They are a true treasure trove for counter-terrorism officials as none of them found on the Internet as open propaganda material.

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“Future_Work.docx”

Author: Sheikh Younis Mohammad al-Mauretani

Appears to be an Al-Qaida strategy paper aiming at improving the plotting of future terrorist attacks in the West. Main content was: using only a few attackers to carry out numerous small attacks. The aim, the authors writes, should be to create panic in Western societies, so the government would use more repressive measures against their own people.

At the same time Al-Qaida should try to carry out a “9-11 2.0″, a second huge attack with devastating effect on Western society. This is necessary, the paper states, to prove Al-Qaida´s commitment and capability.

According to German intelligence the author of the strategy paper is now captured Al-Qaida leader Sheikh Younis Mohammad al-Mauretani.

“Lessons_Learned_From_previous_operations.docx” , “Report_On_Operations.docx”

Author: likely Rashid Rauf

Both documents are listing Al-Qaida attacks of recent years including the London 2005 subway bombings and the failed “UK Airliner Plot”. The author is then commenting on mistakes made during the plotting process and realization.

When German federal police was asked who the possible author of the two papers was their analysis was: the documents were most likely written by British citizen Rashid Rauf – an Al-Qaida operative who is suspected to have been killed in a US drone strike in November 2008 – yet here has not been any confirmation for his death.

“mujahid”

Author: unknown

The file whose author is unknown is regarded as a chilling religious justification for the fighting and killing of infidels.
Main points are: Citizens (civilians) of countries which are in a state of war with Muslims are allowed to be attacked, killed, taken hostage and tortured. Muslims can use fire and poison to kill infidels. Even the enslavement of infidel women is allowed according to the paper.

Mujahidin tasked to carry out attacks in a Non-Muslim country are permitted to smoke cigarettes, have girlfriends, buy alcohol and tell jokes to blend into the Western society.

“serien_killing.txt”

Author: likely Yusuf O. or Maqsood L. wrote it in Pakistan

This German-language document was probably written by either Maqsood L. or Yusuf O. themselves during a training lesson in Waziristan. The content of these notes is a chilling one: it explains how a Mujahid is supposed to behave prior and during a operation in the West. “Use fake passports, use different cars, if your behavior seems suspicious try to act like a criminal”

The document further explains ways to carry out kidnappings. After the enemy is captured the hostages should be dressed in a orange jumpsuit (similar to the ones worn by the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay), the paper reads. Then the hostages shall be killed while a camera is recording the execution – “Cut off the head of the dead body, be careful because of the infidel´s blood” The video of the beheading shall then be send to Al-Qaida via the internet so As-Sahab Media can create a proper propaganda tape.

For further information on the Al-Qaida papers discussed in the Berlin terror trial check Yassin Musharbash´s blog post.

Ex-US-Soldat wollte Dschihad-Kämpfer in Somalia werden

von Florian Flade

Ein ehemaliger US-Soldat konvertierte zum Islam und entschied sich innerhalb weniger Monate in den Dschihad zu ziehen. In Somalia wurde der Amerikaner festgenommen.

Im Internet glaubte Craig Baxam auf die ultimative Wahrheit gestoßen zu sein. Der 24jährige US-Amerikaner war im Sommer 2011 als Soldat in Südkorea stationiert und las beim Surfen im Internet eines Abends auf einer islamischen Internetseite einen Artikel über “Den Tag des Jüngsten Gerichts”. Baxam begann über den Tod, über den Sinn des Lebens und über Religion nachzudenke. “Er wollte mehr über den Islam lesen”, analysiert die US-Bundespolizei FBI in ihrem Untersuchungsbericht zu Baxam, “und je mehr er las umso mehr wollte er.”

Heimlich und nur weniger Tage bevor er die US-Armee verließ, konvertierte Craig Baxam aus Takoma Park (Maryland) im Juli 2011 zum Islam. Seit 2007 hatte der US-Amerikaner im Militär gedient und war in Texas als Militär-Informatik und Verschlüsselungs-Experte ausgebildet worden. Baxam war im Irak stationiert und anschließend auf einer US-Militärbasis in Südkorea.

Nachdem er dem Militär den Rücken gekehrt hatte, lebte Baxam zunächst in Laurel (US-Bundesstaat Maryland). Das Leben in seinem Heimatland Amerika wurde für den islamischen Konvertiten jedoch zunehmend unerträglich. Als Muslim müsse man in den USA “zu viele Kompromisse eingehen”. Baxam schmiedete Pläne in ein “wahrhaft islamisches Land” auszuwandern und ein Leben unter Scharia-Gesetzen zu führen.

Laut eigener Darstellung kamen für den Ex-US-Soldaten dabei nur das von den Taliban regierte Afghanistan oder das von der Islamisten-Miliz Al-Shabaab kontrollierte Somalia in Frage. Baxam entschied sich für letzteres.

Als ausgebildeter Militärgeheimdienstler und Informatiker wusste Craig Baxam dass die US-Sicherheitsbehörden seine Spur verfolgen würden, sollte er auf dem heimischen Computer nach Kontakten zu den Al-Shabaab Terroristen in Somalia suchen. Der Konvertit zerstörte daher seinen Computer und entsorgte die Einzelteile sorgfältig.

Von seinen Ersparnissen kaufte sich Craig Baxam für 1,600 US-Dollar ein Flugticket. Am 20.Dezember 2011 flog er von Baltimore aus zunächst nach London und anschließend weiter nach Kenia. Per Nachtbus reiste er von der kenianischen Hauptstadt Nairobi weiter ins nördlich gelegene Mombasa nahe der Grenze zu Somalia.

Baxam hatte keinerlei Kontaktpersonen in Kenia oder Somalia. Er verhielt sich unauffällig, besuchte Moscheen zum Gebet, sprach aber auch dort kaum mit Fremden. Völlig auf sich alleine gestellt, wollte sich der Irak-Veteran im Bürgerkriegsland Somalia den Islamisten der Al-Shabaab anschließen. Craig Baxams Plan war es mit Taxis und Bussen die Grenze zu Somalia zu überqueren und in der nächstbesten Moschee nach Al-Shabaab Kontakten zu erkundigen. Über 600 US-Dollar hatte er bei sich und wollte sie sobald wie möglich den Al-Shabaab-Kämpfern spenden.

Auf der letzten Etappe seiner Reise, in einem Bus zur Grenzstadt Garissa, wurde Craig Baxam von einem Kenianer angesprochen. “Wo gehst du hin?”, “Sprichst du die Sprache der Leute dort?”, “Hast du Familie hier?”, wollte der Fahrgast wissen. Baxam hielt den Fremden für einen Glaubensbruder und verriet ihm seinen Wunsch in den Dschihad zu ziehen. Der Fremde versprach ihm bei seinem Vorhaben zu helfen.

Das FBI vermutet, der neugierige Bus-Passagier war in Wahrheit ein Informant des kenianischen Geheimdienstes, denn nur kurze Zeit später stoppte die Polizei den Reisebus. Die Reise des Craig Baxam in den somalischen Dschihad war am 23.Dezember 2011 beendet. Der ehemalige US-Soldat wurde verhaftet und wenige Tage später von Beamten des FBI im Hauptquartier der kenianischen Anti-Terror Einheit verhört.

“Baxam hatte nie geplant, aus Somalia zurück zu kehren. Baxam wollte mit einer Waffe in seiner Hand sterben”, heißt es in einem FBI-Untersuchungsbericht. Sollte er jemals aus der Haft entlassen werden, wolle er sich um seinen kranken Vater kümmern, erklärte Baxam den US-Beamten. Nach dem Tod des Vaters würde er dann entscheiden ob er sich erneut Al-Shabaab anschließen wolle.

Der angehende Dschihadist Craig Baxam befindet sich nun in US-Gewahrsam. Die Staatsanwaltschaft wirft dem Kriegsveteran vor geplant zu haben eine ausländische terroristische Vereinigung zu unterstützen.