Schlagwort-Archive: Bundestagswahl

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.

German Al-Qaida Terrorist Killed in Afghanistan

by Florian Flade

Bekkay Harrach („Abu Talha“) – Al-Qaida´s German Spokesman

„Since 1993 my greatest wish is to blow myself up for Allah“ – the masked man says in perfect German, holding a RPG-launcher in his hands. That´s the scene that shocked Germany in January 2009 when a German national of Moroccan origin appeared for the first time in an al-Qaida propaganda tape threatening terror attacks in Germany. The German al-Qaida man was known to security officials. He was born in Morocco in 1977, came to Germany with his family in 1981 and grew up in Bonn-Tannenbusch, a neighborhood of the former German capital many immigrants moved into and created large Muslim communities.

Bekkay Harrach known as „Abu Talha the German“ graduated from school, became a German citizen in 1997 and had close contacts to those attending notorious King Fahd-Acadamy, a Saudi education centre created for the children of Arabian diplomats in Bonn. Harrach´s religious ambitions grew. He gave lectures, invited young Muslims into his apartment for prayer and talks.

In 2002 Harrach enlisted at Koblenz University to study mathematical economics and laser technology. Due to bad results he was expelled from university two years later and started to work in a callshop in the Tannenbusch neighborhood. To friends and neigbours Harrach was known as a friendly guy, always caring about looking well-dressed. Regularly he attended so-called „Islam Seminars“, Salafi events in different places in Germany, where Harrach became a popular speaker.

While he was a student in Koblenz, Harrach travelled to Palestinian Westbank in summer 2003. Near Hebron he was injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers who arrested the German national. Thanks to German authorities, Harrach was extradited to Germany after a short time. His clothes and other belongings were bloodsoaken when he returned to Germany.
In 2004 he again went on Jihad-vacation, this time to Iraq where he came in contact with terror networks and possibly fought against coalition troops.

Upon his return to Germany, Harrach travelled to Syria. Security forces arrested the suspected Jihadi terrorists when he entered the country. Bekkay Harrach was held in Syrian custody for a few weeks till German authorities again negotiated his release. Later the Jihadi thanked the German government for their help in getting him out of Israeli and Syrian prison.

Shortly after Harrach returned from Syria, German intelligence tried to recruit him as an informant of the Islamist community. Harrach refused to work for the police. He wanted to join al-Qaida and move to the Afghan-Pakistani tribal region. Meanwhile he had married a German-Polish woman named Elisabeth who had converted to Islam. She never left home without being fully covered. Harrach´s wife became pregnant but had a miscarriage. The unborn son died. His name the couple had chosen was Talha. Harrach therefore called himself „Abu Talha“ since then.

Aleem Nasir, a convicted al-Qaida supporter, recruited Harrach for al-Qaida and sent him to Pakistan in 2007. Via Iran Harrach reached the Pakistani tribal area of Waziristan and rose quickly in the hierarchy of the terror netzwork. During this time he was in touch with his family in Bonn via e-mail and phone. His wife had given birth to a son, a boy named Hamza. Both, mother and child left Germany in May 2008 for Waziristan and joined with Bekkay Harrach in Waziristan.

One year later Bekkay Harrach threatened Germany with bloody al-Qaida terror. He appeared in a German-language As-Sahab video titled „Rettungspaket für Deutschland“ and talked about how Germans can safe themselves from terror by voting for a party that would withdraw the German military from Afghanistan.

In September of 2009, just before the Parliamentary Elections, Harrach was featured again in a propaganda time, this time unmasked, dressed in a tie and suite. Slowly and confident „Abu Talha the German“ talked about how the outcome of the coming elections would effect al-Qaida´s decision to attack Germany. A few days later al-Qaida´s As-Sahab Media released two more Harrach tapes which were produced some time ago and not directly related to the terror threats.

Now Bekkay Harrach, the German who threatened Germany, is dead. A German communique released by the „Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan“ (IMU) confirms the rumors of Harrach´s death in 2010. Mounir Chouka, another German Jihadi from the city of Bonn, tells in the document that „Abu Talha“ died fighting in Afghanistan. It is reported the German-Moroccan was killed when he led a group of twenty fighters of al-Qaida, Tehrik e-Taliban and IMU in an assault on the US-Military base Bagram.

„Our friend Bekkay from Bonn, alias Abu Talha, the fierceless preacher, that threatened the whole of Germany, died in this operation the martyr´s death“, the communique reads.“ A video of the assault on Bagram will soon be released by As-Sahab Media and IMU´s media wing. Further the documents states Bekkay Harrach is „another martyrs who has written German Jihadi-History in this region, a brother whom we call a role-model to all the scholars in Germany.“

Rumors about Harrach´s death circulated in September last year. German authorities investigated reports the German al-Qaida member died in a US drone strike in Afghanistan. This information was never confirmed, neither by German officials nor by al-Qaida.

Deutscher Al-Qaida Sprecher Bekkay Harrach tot?

by Florian Flade

Vor einem Jahr, kurz vor der Bundestagswahl im September 2009, drohte er als „Abu Talha der Deutsche“, der Bundesrepublik mit Terror. Er erschien in mehreren Propagandavideos als deutschsprachiges Zugpferd der al-Qaida gegen die Bundesrepublik. Jetzt ist der Deutsch-Marokkaner Bekkay Harrach (33) möglicherweise tot.

Deutsche Behörden gehen derzeit Berichten nach, wonach der aus Bonn stammende Islamist in Afghanistan bei einem amerikanischen Raketenangriff vor etwa einem Monat getötet wurde. Unbestätigten Berichten zufolge sollen Harrach und vier Mitstreiter bei einem US-Drohnenangriff ums Leben gekommen. Al-Qaida bestätigte den Bericht ihres deutschen Sprechers bislang noch nicht.

Bereits im Juli hatte eine islamistische Gruppierung aus der afghanisch-pakistanischen Grenzregion den Tod zweier deutscher Dschihadisten gemeldet. Die Gotteskrieger aus Bonn und Berlin sollen bei einem Drohnenangriff des US-Militärs in der ostafghanischen Provinz Paktika ums Leben gekommen sein. Weitere Details, wie etwa Namen oder Alter der deutschen Islamisten, wurden nicht bekannt.

Harrach, der in 1981 im Rahmen einer Familienzusammenführung aus Marokko in die Bundesrepublik gekommen war und sich im Umfeld der König Fahd-Akademie in Bonn radikalisierte, gilt als ranghöchstes deutsches Mitglied des Terrornetzwerks al-Qaida. Geheimdienste ordnen ihn in die mittlere Führungs- und Planungsebene al-Qaidas ein. Als wahrscheinlicher Aufenthaltsort Harrachs galt das pakistanische Waziristan an der afghanischen Grenze.

Dorthin war Bekkay Harrach alias „Abu Talha der Deutsche“ im März 2007 über die Türkei und den Iran gereist und hatte sich in ein Ausbildungslager der al-Qaida begeben. Der Chef-Bombenbauer des Terrornetzwerkes nahm Harrach unter seien Fittiche und lehrte dem Deutschen das tödliche Handwerk.
Zuvor hatte Harrach im Irak und im palästinesischen Westjordanland „Dschihad-Urlaube“ verbracht. In Deutschland, so behauptete der Deutsch-Marokkaner in einem Propagandavideo, habe der Verfassungsschutz versucht ihn als Informanten aus der islamistischen Szene anzuwerben.

Harrachs Ehefrau (31), eine polnische Konvertitin, wartete im heimischen Bonn Bad-Godesberg während ihr Ehemann die Karriereleiter der al-Qaida erklomm. Sie brachte im Juni 2007 den gemeinsamen Sohn Hamza zur Welt.
Im Mai 2008 reisten Mutter und Sohn unter den Augen deutscher Sicherheitsbehörden nach Pakistan und vereinten sich offenbar in Waziristan mit Bekkay Harrach.

Im Januar 2009 erschien der deutsche al-Qaida Kämpfer erstmals vermummt und bewaffnet in einem Propagandavideo. „Mich für Allah in die Luft zu sprengen, ist mein Wunsch seit 1993“, behauptete Harrach darin und drohte Deutschland könne sich nur durch einen Abzug der Bundeswehr aus Afghanistan vor Terroranschlägen schützen.

Zum letzten Mal meldete sich „Abu Talha der Deutsche“ im Herbst 2009 mit einer zweiteiligen Tonbandserie „Oh Allah, ich liebe dich!“ in der er die religiösen Vorzüge des Dschihad und Märtyrertums pries.