German Terror Tourists – Two Jihadis From Germany Arrested in AfPak

by Florian Flade

UPDATE: According to German newspaper DER SPIEGEL, the arrested Moroccan terror suspect is 30-year-old named Mohammed A. who had lived in Berlin before he left the country in 2010 after his permission of residence expired. A. and another Islamist from Berlin traveled to Pakistan via Turkey. In Turkey, Mohammed A. was arrested but later released. US military officials, DER SPIEGEL writes, claim that A. was planning a suicide bombing on a government compound in the Zabul Province of Afghanistan. He is now being held at Bagram Airbase Prison.

On May 8 US troops started a nighttime military operation in the village of Ghazi Kali in the Qalat district of Zabul Province in southern Afghanistan. Their target was a local Taliban facilitator. The operation resulted in the killing of ten suspected insurgents and the capture of several individuals believed to be al-Qaida associated Jihadi militants. Most of those killed and captures were Non-Afghans, among them Saudi, Turkish, Pakistani and French nationals.

One of those arrested during the raid is a Moroccan man who is now in US military custody. ISAF said in a statement the person is an al-Qaida recruit who was based in Germany before coming to Afghanistan. He is described as a „foreign fighter facilitator“.

According to ISAF the interrogation of the Moroccan resulted in valuable intelligence about al-Qaida´s activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. „After his capture the facilitator provided details about his personal travel from Germany (…) He also observed foreigners from many countries converging in Pakistan to conduct attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan“, the ISAF statement reads.

„Additional information provided by the facilitator on the mechanics of getting foreign fighters to Afghanistan will serve to support targeting the network of facilitators who bring global terrorism to bear on coalition forces and civilians in Afghanistan“

Like foreign Jihadi militants the unnamed Moroccan traveled from Europe to Iran and then to Pakistan were he was trained in a terrorist training camp. „During a delay in his travels in Iran, the facilitator stated he was approached to become a suicide bomber,“ ISAF claims, „However, he declined because of his goal to take part in the Global Jihad.“

German officials would not comment on the arrest of the suspected German-based Jihadi. The German Foreign Ministry told me they are aware of this report but cannot provide any further information or even confirm that US Military officials have contacted their German counterparts in that case.

Some information has surfaced though about the person. Allegedly he is not a German citizen but he lived in German for some years. The man´s permit of residence expired a while ago. Allegedly he left Germany a while ago and traveled to Pakistani Waziristan where he joined al-Qaida.

Another case of a suspected German Jihadi terrorist surfaced last weekend. Pakistani security forces arrested the German citizen Michael W. in April who is accused of being a member of a terrorist organization. W. was a resident of Bonn before he traveled to Pakistani terror camps last year. The convert was allegedly a friend of German al-Qaida spokesman Bekkay Harrach (who was killed in 2010 during an attack on Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan). Both had attended so-called „Islam Seminaries“ in Germany, some of which Harrach had organized.

A spokesman for Germany´s Foreign Ministry confirmed in a phone call that a German national is in Pakistani custody and is being looked after by German Embassy staff in Islamabad. One of the German officials working at the Embassy has already visited W. who is expected to be extradited to Germany soon. No arrest warrant had been issued against Michael W. before he was arrested by Pakistani authorities.

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