Schlagwort-Archive: European

Al-Qaida in Islamic Maghreb Demands Release of Abu Qatada

by Florian Flade

Last November Islamist militants of Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped three Europeans in the Mali desert city of Timbuktu. Among them British-South African national Stephen Malcolm.

Today AQIM released a statement offering the release of the Briton in return for the release of Palestinian cleric Abu Qatada. If the British government agrees to deport Abu Qatada to a country of his choice, Stephen Malcolm will be freed, the statement by AQIM reads.

Britain has been trying to extradite Abu Qatada to Jordan for more than six years now. In the Arab country the cleric has been sentenced in absentia for the involvement in terror attacks. Now the European Court of Human Rights is about to decide wether or not the British government is allowed to extradite Abu Qatada.

In today´s statement AQIM says that Britain will „open the doors of evil“ if the Palestinian cleric will be send to Jordan.

Al-Qaida Holding Five European Hostages In Mali

by Florian Flade

Nearly three weeks after five Europeans were abducted in Mali the terrorist network „Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb“ (AQIM) has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings. In a new statement released in Jihadi Internet forums AQIM claims two French nationals were kidnapped in the Northeast of Mali on November 24. Both men disappeared from their hotel in the town of Hombori.

The following day, November 25, European tourists were sitting in a restaurant in the city of Timbuktu when armed gunmen attacked and abducted one Swede, a Dutchman and a South African holding a British passport. A 58 year-old German man named Martin A. who was part of the tourist group resisted the kidnappers and was then killed by the Al-Qaida gunmen.

AQIM now presents two images of the two hostage groups in addition to a written statement demanding France to end all military campaigns against Muslims. Further more AQIM urges the release of imprisoned Islamists.

Germany´s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has meanwhile confirmed the death of a German citizen in Mali. The Ministry also released a travel warning fro Mali, especially in the region around the ancient city of Timbuktu.


German Convert wanted to join Al-Shabaab

by Florian Flade

German officials were sure the 23year old German convert Sascha B. was about to join the Somali terror group Al-Shabaab in its Jihad against African Union Troops. They contacted the German Embassy in Kenya, who then gave information about the suspected terror recruit to Kenyan security forces.

Sascha B. had left Germany via Frankfurt Airport and travelled to Mombasa, Kenya, on September 22th.
Back home Germany B.´s mother found a note left by her son saying he would „never return alive“.

Manhunt started for the blue-eyes White Muslim who was about to make the journey from Kenya´s coastal town of Mombasa, crossing the border into violent Somalia – route commonly used foreign militants recruited by Al Shabaab.

A few days ago Sascha B.´s journey into the world of Jihad ended, when Kenyan police arrested the 23year-old in a private apartment in Mtwapa, outside of Mombasa. B. was then deported to Germany where he remains in custody.

European fighters are a known phenomenon among Al Shabaab Islamists in Somalia. Several dozen men, most of them ethnic Somalis, from Scandinavia, Britain, France, Belgium and Netherlands have joined the radical extremists in recent months. Some even carried out suicide bombings.
Just two weeks ago a Danish-Somali man from Copenhagen attacked Mogadishu´s airport in a suicidal assault.

Only about three to five Islamists from Germany´s Somali-Community (which numbers around 5,000) are suspected of having joined Al-Shabaab. German intelligence says the terrorist-potential of Somalia has been recognized as a growing security threat to Europe. While North Waziristan is in the focus of the media and intelligence agencies, Somalia has become a vital training ground for a new generation of Western terror recruits.

Read more about Al-Shabaab´s European fighters in my article on WELT Online.