Monatsarchiv: August 2011

German Terror Suspects in UK – Robert & Christian´s Mysterious Journey

by Florian Flade

The pair seemed rather nervous when British border police asked the two German nationals what their reason for entering the UK was. They originally had planned to travel to Brussels, Robert B. (23) and Christian E. (28) told the police officers in Dover, the coastal town where they had arrived via ferry on July 15th. Plane tickets were too expensive, the two Germans said, so they decided to travel to London instead.

The police officers became suspicious and checked the luggage of both men. What they found was not really the usual tourist equipment: Jihadi propaganda material as documents and a laptop computer bearing an Al-Qaida flag as a sticker. Robert B. and Christian E. were arrested as terror suspects.

A few weeks later British prosecution accuses the two German converts of possessing material which can be used to build bombs and explosives and to plan terrorist attacks in the UK. Amongst the material found when B. and E. had entered the UK was a document titled „How to build a bomb in your Mom´s kitchen“ – a article from the English-language Online magazine „Inspire“ produced by Al-Qaida in Yemen. „44 Ways of supporting Jihad“, a essay by US-Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was also part of the material in E. and B.´s possession.

In Solingen, a mid-size town in Western Germany, the Muslim community was shocked by the news of the two men´s arrest in Britain: Robert B. and Christian E. are both from Solingen.

Back in 2010 Robert B.´s mother had contacted the German Verfassungsschutz (Interior intelligence agency), told them about her son´s behavior. Robert, a shy and very friendly young boy, wanted to join the military when he was 17 and later successfully finished an apprenticeship. Soon after came in contact with Salafi Islam. Robert´s father had died a few years ago, his mother tells, only three days before his 13th birthday. Within Solingen´s Salafi community the White convert found new friends and an environment he was happy in. That was in January 2009.

„He only talked about paradise, about infidels going to hell and that I should wear a burqa“, Robert´s mother says. Her son began wearing long robes, reading the Quran and was regularly visiting mosques and lectures by fellow convert and Salafi preacher Pierre Vogel. Week after week Robert B. who called himself „Abdel Rahman“ was not sleeping at home in his bed but instead spent nights in the mosque.

There he had met another White convert, Christian E. aka „Abdul Malik“ , who had converted to Islam back in 2003. E., a blonde and blue-eyed 28 year-old man, who loves ice hockey and Rap music, was a well-known figure in the radical Salafi community, somebody keeping a low-profile but was known to German counter-terrorism. As the two befriended, both converts were monitored because of their behavior. My sources say B. and E. were known supporters of Jihad, and also important figures within Germany´s Islamist community regarding travels to the Pakistani terror camps.

B. and E. traveled to the Middle East themselves last year. In Egypt the converts planned to learn Arabic. Due to the political unrest and serious money issues both of them returned to Germany earlier this year.

In one of the mosques in Solingen Robert B. and Christian E. visited the Friday prayers on a regular basis. Very often both of them stayed after the lecture, sitting in the mosque with their laptops, talking to other Muslims and the Imams. The mosque leaders remember the converts as nice and pretty calm people, not talking about politics or Jihad openly.

„One day, police showed up“, a mosque official told me, „they told me Abdul Malik and Abdel Rahman were in contact with dangerous people. I should not let them infiltrate the community. So I decided to ask them to leave the mosque and they did without protesting.“

Christian E. was living at various places in Solingen before moving to a different mosque („Masjid Ar-Rahman“) where his name even appeared on the mailbox. It seems like the Salafi mosque „Deutsch-Islamistes Zentrum“ in the North of Solingen became his home before he travelled to Britain in July.

Still unknown is the reason for the convert´s journey to England. It is very likely one or both of them have been in touch with Islamists in the UK, possibly via Facebook. In recent months the connection between UK and German Islamists has grown stronger, mainly through the cooperation of Salafi Media. Question remains why Robert B. and Christian E. did not even try to hide the propaganda material they were importing to the UK.

The father of Christian E. says his son is not a terrorist. All material found in Christian´s luggage „is freely available on the Internet by everyone“, he says. According to British Anti-Terror Laws the possession of material that can be used to plan and carry out a terrorist attack is a crime that can lead to several years in prison.

Up to August 24th both Germans are held in custody at Belmarsh Prison in London. The next hearing is scheduled in the coming days. During the first hearing back in July, Christian E. and Robert B. did refuse to rise for the judge and instead told the court they would only submit themselves to Allah.

A lawyer from Solingen is now trying to get access to Robert B.. He says he will try to visit the arrested terror suspect, who is held in single detention and is under constant survaillance, together with B.´s mother next week. The lawyer fears a long prison term if Robert B. is sentenced in the UK. Therefore he is planning to get him sent back to Germany so he can be put on trial there.

Deutscher Islamist Mounir C. („Abu Adam“) getötet?

by Florian Flade

Mounir C. aus Bonn gilt als „Popstar“ der Dschihad-Szene. Er trat in Dutzenden Propagandavideos auf. Nun soll er in Pakistan Opfer eines Drohnenangriffs geworden sein.

Eine islamistische Internetseite meldet, der deutsche Terrorist Mounir C. sei im afghanisch-pakistanischen Grenzgebiet vor kurzem schwer verwundet, eventuell sogar getötet worden.

Der Deutsch-Marokkaner Mounir C. (29), der den Kampfnamen „Abu Adam“ trägt, sei entweder bei einer militärischen Operation in Waziristan oder bei einem amerikanischen Drohnenangriff schwer verletzt worden, meldet eine islamistische Gruppe aus Pakistan. Die Informationen stammen angeblich direkt von der „Islamischen Bewegung Usbekistans“ (IBU), der Mounir C. angehörte.

Nach meinen Informationen gab es tatsächlich bei einem Drohnenangriff im pakistanischen Waziristan in den vergangenen Wochen ein deutsches Opfer. Ob der deutsche Terrorist dabei starb, ist nicht bekannt. Zwei usbekische Islamisten sollen jedoch getötet worden sein.

Mounir C. und sein Bruder Yassin C. waren 2007 von Deutschland aus zunächst in den Jemen und anschließend weiter nach Pakistan gereist. In Deutschland waren die Brüder eher unauffällig. Mounir C. machte das Abitur, absolvierte seinen Grundwehrdienst und begann anschließend eine Ausbildung bei Bundesamt für Statistik. Noch zu Schulzeiten gerier er immer wieder mit dem Gesetz in Konflikt. Gegen ihn wurde wegen Schwarzfahrens und Drogendelikten sowie Einbrüchen ermittelt. Zu einem Verfahren kam es jedoch nie.

Nach einer Pilgerfahrt nach Mekka soll sich der Deutsch-Marokkaner stärker dem Islam zugewandt haben. Er besuchte nun häufig die Bonner Al-Muhsinin-Moschee, betete regelmäßig und las den Koran. Im Jahr 2007 wanderte Mounir C. in den Jemen aus, wo er offenbar Sprachschulen besuchte. Anschließened folgte die Reise ins afghanisch-pakistanische Grenzgebiet wo aus dem jungen Bonner Mounir C. der militante Dschihadist „Abu Adam“ wurde.

Mounir und Yassin C. schlossen sich in Pakistan der „Islamischen Bewegung Usbekistans“ (IBU) an und treten seitdem regelmäßig in deutschsprachigen Propagandavideos auf, die im Internet veröffentlicht werden.
Die Terrorgruppe IBU operiert im Grenzgebiet zu Afghanistan und soll aus mehreren tausend Kämpfern bestehen. Im pakistanischen Stammesgebiet Waziristan unterhält die IBU terroristische Ausbildungslager in denen auch deutsche Islamisten trainiert werden. Mindestens fünf Dschihadisten aus Deutschland kamen bereits in den Reihen der IBU ums Leben, zwei davon bei Kämpfen im Norden Afghanistans.

Javad S. aus Bonn wurde 2009 von pakistanischen Soldaten erschossen. Ein islamistischer Kämpfer namens „Farooq der Deutsche“ kam bei einem Selbstmordanschlag auf ein Büro einer Entwicklungshilfe-Organisation im nordafghanischen Kunduz ums Leben. In der gleichen Region starb im Frühjahr dieses Jahres Abdullah H. aus Essen. Er wurde von US-Soldaten erschossen. Der Hamburger Shahab D. und der Wuppertaler Deutsch-Türken Bünyamin E. wurden im Oktober 2010 getötet als eine US-Drohne eine Rakete auf ein Haus in Waziristan abfeuerte.

Germany´s „Mrs. Jihad“ a Victim of Torture?

by Florian Flade

When she appeared in the courtroom, Filiz G. seemed to repent and regret some of her activities that led to her arrest in February 2010. The 29-year old German-Turkish woman was charged with providing material and financial support to a terrorist organization. G. had collected money in Germany and transferred it via Turkey to the terrorist group „Deutsche Taliban Mujahideen“ (DTM).

Soon after her arrest it became known that Filiz G., wife of imprisoned Sauerland-Bomber Fritz G., was in fact the main moderator of the German language Ansar al-Jihad Forum – acting under the cover name of „fisebillah“. She had posted thousands of statements, comments and provided download links to propaganda videos as well as translated statements by the DTM. On a daily basis she was online and in steady contact with DTM´s media official, German-born Ahmet M., who was killed in Pakistan in April 2010. M. had made contact with Filiz G. and convinced her to play a key role in spreading propaganda coming from Waziristan.

In March Filiz G. was sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a Berlin court. During the court hearings she acknowledged that her activities were wrong and that she does not believe in violent Jihad anymore. Most of her fans and supporters, some of whom even witnessed the trial in court, are praising G.´s activities, labeling her a „noble Mujahida“ and calling for her release.

A few weeks ago „Mrs.Jihad“ Filiz G. was mentioned in an Arabic language statement posted on the internet by the „Global Islamic Media Front“ (GIMF), a German-Austrian propaganda organization which translated numerous Al-Qaida videos and documents over the past years. GIMF was mainly operated by a 24 year-old Islamist named Mohamed M. aka „Abu Usama al-Gharib“ from Vienna, who was sentenced to four years in prison in 2009 for spreading Jihadi propaganda and producing terror threats himself by appearing in a homemade video.

It was „Abu Usama al-Gharib“ who wrote the GIMF document naming Filiz G. as a victim of torture. According to the author Filiz G. was abused and tortured in prison several times.

„The kuffar presented their real face, they attacked and abused her body“, al-Gharib writes, „they insulted her and her faith (…) the prison administration did not allow her to wear the hijab anymore. She was forced to wear tight jeans and tight shirts.“

Allegedly the German prison guards attacked Filiz G. shortly after court had sent her to jail. The guards pushed her against the wall, touched her body, prisoner „Abu Usama al-Gharib“ states, „with their dirty and filthy hands“.

Even water to wash for the prayer was not given to G., the statement by al-Gharib claims. Filiz G. allegedly wrote in a letter: „If I would tell you what happened to me: your hearts would break into pieces, your bones would depart from your flesh…the pain of their beatings was easier to handle than their insulting, violation of the honor, pride and faith.“

„Abu Usama al-Gharib“ then continues to call the Muslims to the duty of defending their sister Filiz G. against the kuffar attacks. „Where are we?“, he asks, „It is not our sister who is imprisoned, it is us caught in this dunya (worldly presence).“

Meanwhile the statement by al-Gharib has spread in German Jihadi community and was distributed via Facebook and dozens of websites. In the Arabic original statement the imprisoned Austrian Jihadi activist Mohamed M. („Abu Usama“) also calls for attacks against Germany and German politicians. These threats were deleted in the German translation of the document.

Question remains how Mohamed M. was able to obtain the alleged information from Filiz G. and if the two had been in contact prior to their imprisonment. Also noteworthy is the fact that M. is obviously able to get his messages out of his prison cell in Vienna.

Filiz G. distanced herself from the terror threats and accusation against German prison staff. She was never limited in performing prayer or living according to her religion, G.´s lawyer said.