by Florian Flade
German officials were sure the 23year old German convert Sascha B. was about to join the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab in its Jihad against African Union Troops. They contacted the German Embassy in Kenya, who then gave information about the suspected terror recruit to Kenyan security forces.
Sascha B. had left Germany via Frankfurt Airport and travelled to Mombasa, Kenya, on September 22th.
Back home Germany B.´s mother found a note left by her son saying he would “never return alive”.
Manhunt started for the blue-eyes White Muslim who was about to make the journey from Kenya´s coastal town of Mombasa, crossing the border into violent Somalia – route commonly used foreign militants recruited by Al Shabaab.
A few days ago Sascha B.´s journey into the world of Jihad ended, when Kenyan police arrested the 23year-old in a private apartment in Mtwapa, outside of Mombasa. B. was then deported to Germany where he remains in custody.
European fighters are a known phenomenon among Al Shabaab Islamists in Somalia. Several dozen men, most of them ethnic Somalis, from Scandinavia, Britain, France, Belgium and Netherlands have joined the radical extremists in recent months. Some even carried out suicide bombings.
Just two weeks ago a Danish-Somali man from Copenhagen attacked Mogadishu´s airport in a suicidal assault.
Only about three to five Islamists from Germany´s Somali-Community (which numbers around 5,000) are suspected of having joined Al-Shabaab. German intelligence says the terrorist-potential of Somalia has been recognized as a growing security threat to Europe. While North Waziristan is in the focus of the media and intelligence agencies, Somalia has become a vital training ground for a new generation of Western terror recruits.
Read more about Al-Shabaab´s European fighters in my article on WELT Online.