Schlagwort-Archive: arrest

The Fourth Man Of The „Düsseldorf Cell“

by Florian Flade

Attiyatullah al-Libi – Al-Qaida´s contact to „Düsseldorf Cell“

“We as Muslims should seek the wealth of the disbelievers as a form of jihad in the path of Allah. That would necessitate that we spend the money on the cause of jihad and not on ourselves” – now killed US-Yemeni Anwar al-Awlaki wrote in a issue of the English-language „Inspire“ magazine released by Al-Qaida in Yemen in early 2011.

In Germany, a 27 year-old student obviously felt strongly moved by Awlaki´s sanctioning of crime in the name of Allah to support the Jihad against the disbelievers. Halil S. needed money, enough money to finish with a plot he and his comrades had been planning for months.

On December 8 a police commando of the German special police unit GSG-9 raided a student´s house in the West-German city of Bochum. Halil S. was arrested in his room while he was logging onto the Internet. He is – according to German prosecution – part of the „Düsseldorf Cell“, an Al-Qaida-linked terrorist cell that was busted by German intelligence in April. The „Düsseldorf Cell“ consisted of the three men Abdeladim El-K., Amid C. and Jamil S who were all arrested in several police raids. El-K. who is considered to be the head of the „Düsseldorf Cell“ was trained in an Al-Qaida camp in Waziristan in early 2010 and was in contact with Al-Qaida ideologue Attiyatullah al-Libi.

Halil S. aka „Abdullah“ was recruited by Abdeladim El-K. and was part of a Jihadi supporter network. On April 16 Halil S. visited El-K. in his apartment in Düsseldorf. He handed him a list of 45 names, credit card accounts and passwords – information that was useful for online crimes and the financing of a terrorist attack. German intelligence agents observed the meeting in El-K.´s apartment but were unable to identify Halil S..

When the „Düsseldorf Cell“ was arrested, Halil S. decided to move on with the plot that his „Emir“ Abdeladim El-K. had planned: building a bomb and carrying out a terrorist attack in Germany. Immediately after El-K.´s arrest S. ordered a wiretap detection device and contacted common criminals living in the North of Germany.

In the city of Kiel Halil S. found what he was searching for. Florian M. and five other people from Kiel started to work with Halil S. using fake names and passports for online shopping. The group sold items via Ebay including cameras and thereby was able to raise 5.200 EUROs. According to the prosecution Florian M. and his friends from Kiel did not know about Halil S. intention and his Jihadi terrorist background. They thought they were involved in crime not terrorism.

In May Halil S. contacted the Jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki located in Yemen via e-mail. The German-born Islamist told Awlaki about his plans and his desire to obtain weapons. Awlaki responded. German security officials were not willing to confirm or deny the e-mail exchange between Halil S. and Awlaki. There is no information on what Awlaki´s answers or orders to Halil S. were – but there were answers.

After months of observation and unsuccessful attempts of online searches on Halil S.´computer German authorities decided to move in and arrest the 27 year-old student.

More than 150 police officers were involved in 18 raids that took place in Düsseldorf, Herne, Gelsenkirchen, Kiel and Hamburg. Only two people were arrested: Islamist Halil S. and criminal Florian M..

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.

Berlin Jihadi arrested in Austria

by Florian Flade

Yusuf O. aka „Ayyub al-Almani“

Two years ago he threatened Germany with terror attacks on major cities from his hideout somewhere in Waziristan, now he was arrested – Yusuf O.. Austrian police arrested the 26 year-old Turkish national from Berlin in the Austrian capital Vienna on May 31. There was no press release or any sign from authorities in Austria or Germany that Yusuf O. was in their custody. His arrest was a secret because investigators regard him as a major source for information about Europe-based terrorism supporters and recruiters.

Yusuf O., a German of Turkish origin, was seen as a prime example of integration in Germany. In 2005 he graduated from school with the highest middle school degree possible and shortly after began his studies of engineering at Berlin´s University. On the Internet Yusuf O. described himself as a „pretty creative mind“, someone interested in „spirituality, engineering and fire arms“.

Around 2008 it seems, Yusuf O. rediscovered his Muslim faith. He went to the mosque more often, prayed and befriended with a group of Salafi Muslims in Berlin, among them Fatih T.. T. was a also a „reborn Muslim“, born into a Turkish family whose process of radicalization started in University.

In May 2009 Yusuf O. and Fatih T. left Germany for Jihad. Both traveled to Pakistan via Turkey and joined up the „Deutsche Taliban Mujahidin“ (DTM) in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan. Several other Germans, including the late Saarländer convert Eric Breininger, were members of that group who began to grow with the arrival of Fatih T. and Yusuf O.

During summer and fall of 2009, Yusuf O. was featured in several of DTM´s propaganda videos. The most famous one was released a few days prior to the German parliamentary elections in September 2009. In it Yusuf O. aka „Ayyub al-Almani“ threatened the German public with terror attacks if German troops would not withdraw from Afghanistan. „Jihad will tear down the German walls“, he said, „your security is only an illusion.“

Suspected terror targets were seen in the video including Berlin´s Brandenburger Gate, the Cologne cathedral and Munich´s Oktober-Fest. German counter-terrorism officials called the video „the most direct and most serious threat against Germany yet“. In another videos, Yusuf O. called for German Muslims to came to Waziristan and join the Jihad or to sent money to the Mujahidin.

While his friend Fatih T. rose to the become the „Amir“ of the DTM, Yusuf O. made his way back to Europe. Austrian police arrested him in late May. Germany had given out an international arrest warrant for the Berlin Talib. How and when Yusuf O. entered Austria is unclear. The arrest was not made at the Vienna Airport, which could suggest he traveled from Pakistan to an East European country – the Czech Republic, Hungaria or the Balkans – and then made his way to Austria.

O.´s arrest was not made public till other terror-related news in Austria broke and it became known a person with that name had been captured. On Wednesday four terror suspects were arrested in several raids across Vienna. Austrian convert Thomas al-J. was arrested by the police in this apartment while another 25 year-old convert, his 19 year-old wife and a Chechen man were arrested at the airport. They were allegedly on their way to the Waziristan terror camps of the DTM.

Thomas al-J. is a known radical convert who has connections to other Islamists across the border in Germany and was a blogger admiring Jihadi cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Authorities in Austria believe al-J. recruited the other arrested terror suspects and organized their trips to Pakistan. In his Vienna apartment police found a Computer flight simulation game. Al-J., Austrian media reported yesterday, had trained to fly a commercial airliner in order to attack the German parliament.

All of the arrested Austrian terror suspects were released on Wednesday evening. The intention to travel to a terror camp was not enough evidence to keep them in custody.

Media reports said that the arrests might have been linked to the arrest of the German Yusuf O.. It is very likely O. who has been in Waziristan recently, knew of the supporter and recruiter network in Vienna. Unconfirmed information says he even met Thomas al-J. shortly before his arrest.

Austrian authorities would not comment on Yusuf O. but I received information he is still in Austrian custody waiting to be sent to Germany. Prosecution in Karlsruhe investigates Yusuf O.´s case since he appeared in the September 2009 propaganda video. They accuse him of being a member of the DTM, recruitment for a terrorist organization and support of terrorism.