Schlagwort-Archive: threat

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.

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„Make Jihad Easy For Me“ – Saudi Student of Texas University Planned Terror Attack in US

by Florian Flade

A Saudi student living in Texas is accused of plotting a terrorist attack inside the United States. His apparent target list included former President George W.Bush, US-Soldiers who have served in Abu Ghraib and Dallas Night Clubs. On his blog the Saudi Chemistry student left some interesting entries, drawing the path to radicalization of just the latest of America´s al-Qaida inspired „Lone Wolves of Terror“.

From the Online traces Khalid Ali-M al-Dawsari (or Khalid Alim al-Dosari), a 21 year-old Saudi national and student of Chemical Engineering, left behind, he does not seem to fit into the common profile of a Jihadi Terrorist. On his blog, Khalid wrote about life, about girls he admired, about poetry and how he felt starting a major-student´s life in America. Then, out of the sudden al-Dawsari was talking about Jihad and martyrdom.

The FBI investigated the Saudi student and arrested Khalid al-Dawsari yesterday on charges of terrorism. He is now accused of plotting a attack with a weapon of mass destruction inside the United States. Counter-terrorism officials believe al-Dawsari planned on producing explosives with obtained chemicals and then targeting places inside the US – possibly former President George W. Bush in his Dallas residence.

On his blog, Khalid al-Dawsari, who will appear in court tomorrow, left some interesting traces about his life in the US, providing the reader with his thoughts about Americans and their way of life.

Khalid Alim Al-Dawsari came into the United States in September 2008 and joined a English-Language Program for second language students in October 2008. By August 2009 he finished the program and by then had gained enough language skills to enlist into Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas. He started his major studies in Chemical Engineering.

Soon after his arrival in the US, in December 2008, Khalid al-Dawsari had started a blog, a diary were he posted poetry and events that happened in his life. His first blog post though, was not about his move to the US or his studies at Lubbock TTU, but about a woman – a Italian actress and model named Anna Valle.

„Anna if there is just one great moon you will be my stars and rare moons. Anna, you are my universe which is the perfection with out human beings“, al-Dawsari wrote. The next day, the Saudi student wrote about a girl he had met in Texas. „My first time I saw her in real life was in a football game between my university Vanderbilt and University of Tennessee“, the blog entry reads, „I saw her there and she was the seats that under mine. She was gorgeous. She saw me in moments again and again. She looked at me repeatedly in few moments. It was something I will never forget…I just want her. I want her.“

During May 2009, when al-Dawsari was learning English in Nashville, Tennessee, he wrote about his dreams of becoming a Google employee. „This is an opportunity to be in the US to achieve my dream that I am working very hard and I am doing my best to catch it, that dream is mainly and simply to be an employee in google which is not impossible to achieve even if it is hard but it is still not impossible because there is nothing impossible for me and I can do it, yeah I can be an employee in google.“

While in the English-program, the Saudi student got to know other Arabic-speakers. Al-Dawsaris language partner though – was a woman named Sarah. In May 2009, al-Dawsari and the others made an academic trip to Siloam Springs in Arkansas. „I think Siloam reflects the volunteering which is a huge part of the American culture that I totally respect and admire“, al-Dawsari wrote on his blog about the trip, „In addition, the volunteers weren’t all Christians, white, …etc specifically they weren’t belong to one race or religion.“

Al-Dawsari liked to watch American movies. For him, they kind of reflected the American lifestyle. „I think this movie illustrate some of the American culture in the way that people pursue their happiness via money but that doesn’t mean all Americans would commit crimes for either money or happiness“, he wrote about a movie he saw.

In summer 2009, Khalid al-Dawsari thought about buying a car in the US. He did not know how to find a proper used car. Back in Saudi-Arabia he had watched some US shows about cars, especially the infamous „Pimp my ride“ and now blogged about the things he observed in the US – „I think cars for Americans are like a wife, so the wife has to be beautiful, good family, pricy and precious.“ Finally on September 19 2009, al-Dawsari bought a car, a Hyundai Sonata 2006 and registered it on October 5 2009.

The Saudi chemistry student obviously traveled back to the Saudi Kingdom in July 2009 for a short visit, sending his language-training partner Sarah a warm greeting from his Arabian homeland. In mid-August 2009, Khalid al-Dawsari arrived in Lubbock, Texas, were he became a student of Texas Tech University. „I arrived in Lubbock, TX one week ago“, al-Dawsari wrote on his blog, „Texas Tech University is very nice one and I like it. They have a good football team, so probably I will enjoy the city and the life here.“ Apparently this is the housing complex al-Dawsari lived in.

For months, al-Dawsari´s blog had no new posts. Then, on March 11, the Saudi student posted a chilling all-Arabic message – „You who created mankind and who is knowledgeable of what is in the womb, grant me martyrdom for Your sake and make Jihad easy for me (…) make me reside in the high heaven eternally forever.“ A month later, on April 8, Khalid al-Dawsari again posted a Arabic entry on his blog. „If this is the West´s version of freedom, and their peace policy, we have our own policies in freedom and it is war until the infidels (…) leave defeated.“

There is no hint given on why al-Dawsari´s blog postings suddenly turned into political and religious messages of hate and Jihad. What had influenced the then 20 year-old Saudi-Arab from September 2009 to March 2010 remains unknown.

In the following months the Saudi citizen Khalid al-Dawsari began research on the internet on how to build explosive devices, instructions on how to create a bomb detonator out of a mobile phone and how to produce explosives. Al-Dawsari sent several e-mails to his own account, containing documents and information on the chemicals necessary to manufacture a bomb. „EXPLO6“, he named one of the e-mails, „In the Name of Allah The Beneficent The Merciful. Nitro is more powerful than T.N.T.“.

Al-Dawsari also started to purchase tools via Amazon.com. On December 12 2010 he ordered a Weller SP23LK Marksman, 25 Watt soldering iron kit. A string of Miniature Christmas lights was then purchased also via Amazon on December 30 2010. When al-Dawsari´s apartment in Lubbock was searched by the FBI on February 16 2011, they found the lights he had ordered last year. The terror suspect also bought a 3,2 million volt stun gun, a battery tester ,wiring, a alarm clock and a precision screwdriver and large quantities of Chemistry Labratory equipment.

When the FBI raided al-Dawsari´s apartment a few days ago, they found several handwritten notes and a journal with some Arabic entries, indicating he planned to carry out a terrorist attack inside the United States for years. The events of 9/11 and the lectures of Osama Bin Laden apparently inspired the young Saudi student. He applied for a scholarship for America, al-Dawsari wrote, so the „Traitor of the Two Holy Places“ (King of Saudi-Arabia) would finance his trip. „Financial scholarship will help tremendously in providing me with the support I need for Jihad“, the student states, „And now after mastering the English language, learning how to build explosives and continuous planning to target infidel Americans, it is time for Jihad“.

On July 22 2010, al-Dawsari wrote in his diary, he wished to create his own al-Qaida branch, naming it „Jamaat Jund al-Islam“. In September 2010 he claimed he was doing his best in his effort to create a „intelligent bomb“. By then al-Dawsari had already picked several possible targets for his attack in the US.

„NICE TARGETS 01“, the Saudi named his e-mail listing numerous targets like 12 dams and reservoirs in California and Colorado. On September 22 2010, he wrote a document containing the home adresses of three American soldiers who had previously served in the U.S. military in Iraq and were stationed in Abu Ghraib Prison. Among other targets selected by al-Dawsari was a Nuclear Power Plant as well as New York City locations.

In the Texan City of Dallas, Khalid al-Dawsari had picked a high-value target – the address of a property owned by former US-President George W. Bush, a location the Saudi student called the „Tyrant´s house“.

On Feb. 1 2011, a chemical supplier reported to the FBI a suspicious attempted purchase of concentrated phenol by a man identifying himself as Khalid Aldawsari. According to the affidavit, phenol is a toxic chemical with legitimate uses, but can also be used to make the explosive trinitrophenol, also known as T.N.P., or picric acid.

Apparently al-Dawsari had already thought about how to hide and conceal the bomb he was about to build. On the Internet he searched for pictures of babies and realistic looking infant dolls. Just a few days ago, on February 19 2011, the Chemistry student searched for „can u take a backpack to nightclub“, „bakcpack“, „dallas night clubs“ and „party in dalls“ on Google.

This search triggered the FBI to step in and arrest the 21 year-old Saudi national. Today he was officially charged with preparing a terrorist attack in the United States.

Again it seems, America escaped a Jihadi terrorist attack by one of the al-Qaida inspired „lone wolves“, increasingly threatening the security of the United States.

„Jetzt gibt es eine Chance“ – Interview mit Ex-Dschihadist Noman Benotman

by Florian Flade

Noman Benotman kämpfte jahrelang gegen das Gaddafi-Regime und verbündete sich mit al-Qaida. Dann schwor er dem Terror ab und sieht heute große Chancen für ein Libyen ohne Gaddafi und ohne al-Qaida.

Noman Benotman– ehemaliger Bin Laden Gefolgsmann, heute Terror-Analyst in London

Der Libyer Noman Benotman ist Analyst der Londoner Quilliam-Foundation. Er war bis zum Jahr 2002 Mitglied der terroristischen „Libysch-Islamischen Kampfgruppe (LIFG)“ und in Afghanistan Ausbilder in einem Al-Qaida Trainingslager. Dort traf er mehrfach al-Qaida Chef Osama Bin Laden.

Inzwischen hat Benotman dem Terrorismus abgeschworen, schrieb mehrere Briefe an die al-Qaida Führer und rief sie auf, den Terror zu stoppen. Benotman lebt und arbeitet heute in London gilt als einer der besten Kenner des Terrornetzwerkes al-Qaida und der libyschen Islamistenszene. Er analysiert den militanten Islamismus und erarbeitet De-Radikalisierungsprogrammen für Islamisten.

Am Montag kehrte Benotman von einem 10tägigen Aufenthalt in Libyen zurück. Ich sprach mit dem Ex-Dschihadisten über die Rolle al-Qaidas in den arabischen Revolten.

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Herr Benotman, welche Rolle spielen die Islamisten der al-Qaida im derzeitigen Volksaufstand in Libyen?

In dieser Situation, al-Qaida anzubringen, während das Volk getötet wird und das Regime weiter jeden Tag Dutzende Libyer tötet, speziell in Tripolis, ist sehr gefährlich. Diesen Konflikt so zu behandeln, wird mehr Islamisten und Terrorgruppen erzeugen, glauben Sie mir. Ich denke die Welt , wir, wir sind die Welt, die an Freiheit, Zivilgesellschaft und Demokratie glauben, wir sollten die Libyer unterstützen ihr Schicksal zurückzugewinnen. Wenn wir das aber vergessen und al-Qaida anführen und über Libyen nur als Gefahr sprechen, dann vergessen wir die andere Seite der Münze. Ja, es gibt ein Sicherheitsrisiko, aber auf der anderen Seite gibt es eine große Chance, z.B. auf Freiheit und Demokratie.

Tunesien und Ägypten schienen Revolutionen ohne „Allahu Akbar!“- Rufe gewesen zu sein. In Libyen ist dies anders. Gibt es dort ein religiöses Element in der Revolte?

Wie kommen Sie darauf? Was hört man in den Straßen von Tripoli?

Auf einigen Amateur-Videos aus den Straßen Libyens hört man Demonstranten die „La illaha ill Allah!“ (Es gibt keinen Gott außer Allah) und „Allahu akbar!“ skandieren.

Wenn man als Muslim hinaus geht und einer Gefahr gegenüber steht, dann sucht man spirituelle Unterstützung. Man versucht sehr stark zu sein, emotional und spirituell, besonders wenn man unbewaffnet ist und jemand auf einen schießt. Wenn Sie also Leute sehen, die „Kein Gott außer Allah“ schreien, dann wollen sie damit auch die libyschen Soldaten daran erinnern: Wir sind Muslime, wir sollen Brüder sein, wieso tötet ihr uns? Sie schreien „Kein Gott außer Allah“ ohne Waffen oder Schwert oder irgendetwas, es sind normale Leute, viele von denen beten nicht einmal.

Also gibt es kein islamistisches Element im Volksaufstand gegen Gaddafi?

Die Situation, diese Aufstände und Revolutionen, haben zwei Seiten. Gefahr und Chance. Und wir müssen uns entscheiden. Zuerst würde ich gerne die Leute auffordern von „wir“ anstatt von „uns und denen“ zu sprechen. Wir glauben alle an Freiheit und Demokratie. Das Volk glaubt an Freiheit und Demokratie und wir sollten die Situation aus der Perspektive der Chance heraus betrachten.

Ja, es gibt ein Sicherheitsrisiko, vielleicht von einigen Terrorgruppen oder Radikalen, aber wir haben ebenso alle Chancen für die Errichtung oder Wiedererrichtung eines freien demokratischen Landes. Sobald freie demokratische Gesellschaften in irgendeinem Land im Nahen Osten entstehen, ist das der beste Weg Extremismus zu bekämpfen.

Demokratien in Nordafrika sind also das beste Mittel um al-Qaida´s Ideologie zu bekämpfen?

Ja. Denken Sie an Ägypten und an die Muslimbruderschaft. Wie sie sich beteiligt hat an der Revolte, ist wirklich ermutigend für den Westen mit ihr klar zu kommen. Die Muslimbrüder haben sich sehr, sehr klug verhalten und gaben niemandem die Chance ihre Präsenz als eine Gefahr für die ägyptische Revolution darzustellen. Sie haben bewiesen dass sie moderat sind, sie haben nach den Regeln gespielt. Denken Sie an Tunesien und Sheikh Ghannouchi (den tunesischen Oppositionellen und Islamisten-Führer). Er wird wegen seiner Toleranz von Islamisten aus seiner eigenen Bewegung kritisiert, sie denken er wäre zu moderat. Also müssen wir ihn ermutigen, ihn unterstützen und ihn nicht bedrohen.

Außer einer Geschichtsstunde zu Ägypten von al-Qaida Vize Zawahiri gab es bislang keine Äußerung vom Terrornetzwerk Bin Ladens zu den arabischen Volksaufständen. Warum schweigt al-Qaida weiterhin?

Es ist absolut klar, dass al-Qaida nichts mit den Volksaufständen zu tun hat. Was im Nahen Osten gerade passiert, ist ein Referendum der Völker. Die Menschen brauchen Demokratie. Punkt. Es ist ihr Wille und es ist zu 100 Prozent transparent und sichtbar.

Und das einzige was al-Qaida jetzt anbieten könnte, wäre ein Taliban-ähnlicher Gottesstaat?

Sie werten die Situation immer noch aus. Sie suchen nach einer Möglichkeit für sich doch noch eine Rolle zu spielen. Das ist ganz natürlich. Wenn man eine Organisation mit einer ideologischen Agenda hat, ist so etwas sehr schwierig. Deshalb schweigen sie, beobachten die Situation und denken darüber nach wie sie handeln könnten. Deshalb sage ich: jetzt gibt es eine Chance. Aber wenn wir weiterhin „al-Qaida, al-Qaida, al-Qaida!“ rufen, dann rekrutieren wir noch mehr Terroristen. Wir sollten uns auf die Möglichkeiten konzentrieren statt auf das Sicherheitsrisiko. Es gibt eine Chance und eine Verantwortung für den Westen. Wenn der Westen ständig von Demokratie, Meinungsfreiheit und Menschenrechten redet, dann ist jetzt die Chance dafür.

Der vor wenigen Tagen zurückgetretene Botschafter Libyens bei der Arabischen Liga wurde heute zitiert mit den Worten Gaddafis-Regime werde „innerhalb weniger Tage fallen“. Stimmen Sie ihm zu?

Vielleicht geschieht es in zwei Tagen, vielleicht in einem Jahr.

Aber es wird passieren?

Es gibt keine Möglichkeit für das Regime zu bleiben, es ist verloren.