by Florian Flade
In Berlin two suspected Islamist terrorists are standing trial since January. Austrian Maqsood L. and Berlin resident Yusuf O. met in a Al-Qaida training camp in Waziristan and were tasked to recruit fellow Islamists in Europe to form terrorist cells.
In 2011 Yusuf O. and Maqsood L. left Pakistan´s tribal region and traveled to Hungary. Yusuf O. of Berlin then traveled to Maqsood´s home town of Vienna to make contact with Maqsood´s old friends. Maqsood himself traveled to Berlin to search for recruits in Yusuf´s former community.
The two men thought they were able to outsmart German and Austrian intelligence by not returning to their original home town. They were wrong. Maqsood L. was arrested in Berlin on May 16 2011 and Austrian police arrested Yusuf O. in Vienna on May 31 2011.
Former Austrian soldier Maqsood L. was carrying USB sticks and a SD memory card in his underwear when police arrested him. The hardware was intensifly checked by German federal police BKA. It took IT experts several weeks until they were able to recover and unpack the files. Most of them had been hidden in movie and image files using camouflage and cryptic software. The RAR-Archive files had curious names, for example: “sexytanja.rar”.
Some of the original files were bearing the names of porn movies and pop songs. One movie file contained 142 hidden document files. Among them: PDF terrorist training manuals in German, English and Arabic.
Five documents presumably written by Al-Qaida officials were of great interest for Germany´s intelligence. They are a true treasure trove for counter-terrorism officials as none of them found on the Internet as open propaganda material.
Author: Sheikh Younis Mohammad al-Mauretani
Appears to be an Al-Qaida strategy paper aiming at improving the plotting of future terrorist attacks in the West. Main content was: using only a few attackers to carry out numerous small attacks. The aim, the authors writes, should be to create panic in Western societies, so the government would use more repressive measures against their own people.
At the same time Al-Qaida should try to carry out a “9-11 2.0”, a second huge attack with devastating effect on Western society. This is necessary, the paper states, to prove Al-Qaida´s commitment and capability.
According to German intelligence the author of the strategy paper is now captured Al-Qaida leader Sheikh Younis Mohammad al-Mauretani.
“Lessons_Learned_From_previous_operations.docx” , “Report_On_Operations.docx”
Author: likely Rashid Rauf
Both documents are listing Al-Qaida attacks of recent years including the London 2005 subway bombings and the failed “UK Airliner Plot”. The author is then commenting on mistakes made during the plotting process and realization.
When German federal police was asked who the possible author of the two papers was their analysis was: the documents were most likely written by British citizen Rashid Rauf – an Al-Qaida operative who is suspected to have been killed in a US drone strike in November 2008 – yet here has not been any confirmation for his death.
The file whose author is unknown is regarded as a chilling religious justification for the fighting and killing of infidels.
Main points are: Citizens (civilians) of countries which are in a state of war with Muslims are allowed to be attacked, killed, taken hostage and tortured. Muslims can use fire and poison to kill infidels. Even the enslavement of infidel women is allowed according to the paper.
Mujahidin tasked to carry out attacks in a Non-Muslim country are permitted to smoke cigarettes, have girlfriends, buy alcohol and tell jokes to blend into the Western society.
Author: likely Yusuf O. or Maqsood L. wrote it in Pakistan
This German-language document was probably written by either Maqsood L. or Yusuf O. themselves during a training lesson in Waziristan. The content of these notes is a chilling one: it explains how a Mujahid is supposed to behave prior and during a operation in the West. “Use fake passports, use different cars, if your behavior seems suspicious try to act like a criminal”
The document further explains ways to carry out kidnappings. After the enemy is captured the hostages should be dressed in a orange jumpsuit (similar to the ones worn by the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay), the paper reads. Then the hostages shall be killed while a camera is recording the execution – “Cut off the head of the dead body, be careful because of the infidel´s blood” The video of the beheading shall then be send to Al-Qaida via the internet so As-Sahab Media can create a proper propaganda tape.
For further information on the Al-Qaida papers discussed in the Berlin terror trial check Yassin Musharbash´s blog post.