by Florian Flade
„God willing“, the Jihadi militant smiled, holding a mortar round in his hand, „this one will fly to Berlin or even better to Washington!“. This was in January, a short scene from a propaganda video tape produced by the „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU) in the Pakistani tribal region. The same Jihadi fighter was featured for the first time in one of the terror videos coming from Waziristan, in spring of 2009. In the German-language tape, the militant called „Commander Muhammad“ looked into the camera and repeated in German the famous John F.Kennedy-phrase „Ich bin kein Berliner!“ (I´m not a Berliner).
Nearly two years after he wished mortar rounds to hit the German capital, the IMU-fighter „Commander Muhammad“ is dead, killed by hellfire missiles fired from a CIA drone in North Waziristan. Reports from the region say, the „martyr“ was a Muhajir (immigrant) from Germany who had joined IMU. German officials had never officially identified the Jihadi, neither his real name or biographical details are known. Yet, the claim is he had traveled from Germany to Waziristan to fight Jihad. If true, he would be – in addition to the Chouka-brothers from Bonn – one of the longest serving German Jihadi militant in that organization.
It could be concluded, that because of his poor German skills, the use of Turkish language and his appearance, the now dead militant was of Turkish origin and had lived in Germany without being granted German citizenship. He was not the only foreign fighter killed in the drone strike about four or five days ago. Abdul Halim, another IMU fighter was killed in the same event. His nationality is not known but from propaganda footage it is possibly to say he was probably of Arab or Turkish origin.
If it is confirmed that „Commander Muhammad“ was indeed a German citizen or at least former German resident, he would just be the latest casualty for German Jihadi militants in the Afghan-Pakistan border region. At least eight Islamists from Germany lost their lives (or committed suicide) in and around Waziristan since 2007. The first was a Turkish militant named Sadullah who was killed by a drone attack, followed by fellow Turkish Cüneyt C. who carried out a suicide bombing on a US Military Base in the Afghan province of Khost and killed three US soldiers. Javad S., a German national of Afghan origin from Bonn, died in battle fighting Pakistani forces in Waziristan as a member of „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“. Converts Eric B. and Danny R. (both members of the „Islamic Jihad Union) were shot dead by Pakistani troops alongside German-born Turkish national Ahmet M. (propaganda chief of „Islamic Jihad Union“) in Waziristan in April and Iranian national but Hamburg resident Shahab D. and German citizen Bünyamin E. died in October in a US drone attack.
To my information Yassin Chouka, a German of Moroccan descent, also recently died after being seriously wounded in a drone strike on a car in North Waziristan. He was highly promoted as a useful propaganda tool by the „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ and was featured in numerous videos calling German Muslims to join the Mujahideen of Waziristan. Chouka´s death however remains unconfirmed. German intelligence officials told me, they are aware of this information but are unable to confirm or deny it.