Schlagwort-Archive: attacks

The Day Al-Qaida Fired Bekkay Harrach

by Florian Flade

Bekkay Harrach aka „Abu Talha al Almani“ – Terrorist threats in the name of Al-Qaida

He looked a bit undressed in his suite and tie in front of a red curtain, but his message was a chilling one: Germany is about to experience bloody terror by Al-Qaida if the people choose to vote for a new government which is still committed to the Afghanistan engagement of the German military – the September 2009 video message by German Al-Qaida terrorist Bekkay Harrach.

The video posted on the internet on September 18 was Harrach´s second terror threat. In January 2009 he appeared for the first time in a video produced by Al-Qaida´s As-Sahab Media titled „Das Rettungspaket für Al-Qaida“. Harrach aka „Abu Talha the German“ threatened terror attacks in Germany after the September 2009 elections – the first direct warning to Germany coming from Al-Qaida.

Harrach´s second message, released only a few days before the parliamentary elections, caused German counter-terrorism officials to rise the threat level drastically.  Again the German-Moroccan from Bonn reminded the German public of Al-Qaida´s promise. For those inside the intelligence community there was no doubt: Al-Qaida had set sights on Germany.

What seemed to be a coordinated Al-Qaida campaign against Germany was in fact a lonesome plan by Harrach to strike fear in his old home country. German magazine SPIEGEL reports that Bekkay Harrach who acted as Al-Qaida´s official German spokesman, was dismissed by the terrorist network because of the September 2009 video message. The video was not authorized by Al-Qaida nor was it recorded and produced by it´s official propaganda wing „As-Sahab Media“.

The video did not bear any official label – it had allegedly been produced and released by Al-Fajr Media, Jihadi propaganda outlet who releases video, audio and written statements on behalf of several Jihadi groups.

During interrogation two German Jihadis, Rami Makanesi and Ahmad W. Siddiqi, told German intelligence that Al-Qaida was so angry about Harrach´s independent action in the name of the organization that he was fired by Al-Qaida´s leadership in Waziristan. Harrach had to leave the organization in late 2009, Makanesi and Siddiqi told the interrogators.

Shortly after the September 2009 threat video was posted on the internet some experts doubted the authenticity of it. Why did Harrach appear in a Al-Qaida video dressed in the same outfit US-President Barack Obama wore during his Cairo speech? Never before had an Al-Qaida official appeared in video dressed up like a Western politician. And why was there no official editing done to the video by „As-Sahab Media“?

It seems reasonable to say Harrach most likely was hoping for Islamist sympathizers in Germany to act on their own after the Al-Qaida threat. Eventhough he urged followers to hold any terrorist attacks and to wait till Al-Qaida members would begin the bloody campaign against Germany, he propbably knew that no such terrorist cells existed in the country. He was hoping for the „lone wolves“ to be inspired by his message.

None of them acted, no terrorist attack was carried out during or in the weeks after the 2009 election in Germany. Bekkay Harrach´s promise in the name of Al-Qaida was not fullfilled. He himself will not be able to fullfill it himself either – Harrach, who had traveled to Pakistan in 2007 and joined Al-Qaida, was killed in late summer 2010 during an assault attack on US military base Bagram in southern Afghanistan.

Pakistan Captures Al-Qaida Operative Sheikh Younis al-Mauretani

by Florian Flade

He is one of Al-Qaida´s most shadowy and mysterious figures in the Pakistani tribal areas – Sheikh Younis Mohammed al-Mauretani.

Pakistan´s military forces today announced Al-Mauretani´s arrest in a written statement, saying the North African Al-Qaida operative was captured in the city of Quetta close to the Afghan border. Along with al-Mauretani two other Arab Al-Qaida members, named Abdul Ghaffar Al Shami (Bachar Chama) and Messara Al Shami (Mujahid Amino) were arrested. No Details were given on these two men.

Sheikh Younis al-Mauretani was labeled Al-Qaida´s Chief of External Operations by the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, holding one of the most important positions within the terrorist network. „He was planning to target United States economic interests including gas/oil pipelines, power generating dams, and strike ships/oil tankers through explosive laden speed boats in International waters“, the Pakistani ISI claims in a statement. Cooperation with the CIA led to the arrest of Al-Mauretani, the statement further explains.

Counter-terrorism officials in the USA and Pakistan believe al-Mauretani was in direct contact with Bin Laden until US Navy SEALs killed the Al-Qaida leader in May. Inside the Abbottabad compound were Bin Laden was hiding, documents were found which are confirming that al-Mauretani was the mastermind behind a 2010 terrorist plot to target European economy. A strategy paper written by Al-Mauretani suggested to hit especially economic targets in the West to harm the USA and Europe. From what is known it seems Bin Laden approved this plan and promised the financing of the terror attacks.

Most of what is known about Al-Mauretani was revealed during the interrogation of two German terror suspects arrested last year. Ahmad Wali Siddiqi and Rami Makanesi from Hamburg had traveled to the Waziristan terrorist training camps in March 2009. Both of them met Al-Mauretani in early 2010 when the Al-Qaida operative was searching for Western recruits. „Al-Qaida´s No.3 – Foreign Minister“ – Al-Mauretani introduced himself to the Jihadis from Germany.

Makanesi describes al-Mauretani as a skinny, tall person with a calm manner, well-spoken and intelligent. „What we have are planning, not even the devil has in mind“, al-Mauretani had told the German terrorists in Waziristan according to Makanesi and Siddiqi. He later outlined his „Europe Plot“ to them, telling them about his idea of striking economic targets in various European countries.

In January or February 2010 Sheikh al-Mauretani had met another German Jihadi who arrived at the Al-Qaida training camps – Abdelkarim el-K., a Moroccan who lived and studied in Düsseldorf. After returning to Germany El-K. formed a terrorist cell he became the leader of. While the group planned to obtain or produce explosives El-K. tried to contact the Al-Qaida commanders in Waziristan for advice. One of the people he tried to contact but could not reach was none other than Al-Mauretani.

In addition to what Makanesi and Siddiqi told German and American intelligence most information available on al-Mauretani is believed to be rumors and unconfirmed reports by Arab intelligence agencies. Some sources say the Mauretanian Al-Qaida suspect had studied in Egypt and later left the country to join Bin Laden in Afghanistan. Others say al-Mauretani lived in Saudi-Arabia before coming to Waziristan and that he owned a football club there.

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.