A recruiting video produced by German militants and posted on an al-Qaeda website has cast fresh light on how European Islamists are joining insurgents fighting in Pakistan’s mountainous tribal areas.
UK Telegraph In Taliban-controlled Waziristan, a village is run by the notorious al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which plots raids on Nato forces in Afghanistan. A recruitment video presents life in the village as a desirable lifestyle choice with schools, hospitals, pharmacies and day care centres, all at a safe distance from the front.
In the video, the presenter, “Abu Adam”, the public face of the group in Germany, points his finger and asks: “Doesn’t it appeal to you? We warmly invite you to join us!
- According to German foreign ministry officials a growing number of German families, many of North African descent, have taken up the offer and travelled to Waziristan where supporters say converts make up some of the insurgents’ most dedicated fighters
The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, which has a foothold in several German cities, has capitalised on growing concern over the rising profile of German forces in Afghanistan. Their role has become increasingly controversial in Germany in recent weeks after dozens of civilians were killed in an air strike ordered by German officers.
- Investigators have discovered a “Jihadi village” of white German al-Qaeda insurgents, including Muslim converts, in Pakistan’s tribal areas close to the Afghan border
The role of the “German Taliban”, as analysts have dubbed them, emerged last week when security sources said eight Germans were believed to be at the centre of a plot by al-Qaeda cells to launch commando attacks on European cities. German authorities believe at least 70 German nationals have travelled to Pakistan for training, with about a third returning home.
Their recruitment drive has been led by “Abu Adam”, a 24-year-old German believed to be of Turkish or North African descent who was raised with fellow Jihadi, Abu Ibrahim, in the smart Bonn suburb of Kessenich.German Islamist Eric Breininger and Ahmet M., a Turk born in Germany are believed to be a key recruiters in the German-speaking Islamist scene
Adam, whose real name is Mounir Chouka, received weapons training from the German army as part of his national service, and later spent three years training at the Federal Office of Statistics where colleagues described him as a “nice boy”. In another recruitment video released earlier this year he urged supporters to: “Die the death of honour.”
Khalid Khawaja, a former Pakistan intelligence officer, who describes himself as a friend of Osama bin Laden, said he was aware of a German contingent and that there were a number of Swedish converts too who had arrived in Pakistan “for Jihad”.
“The Europeans are there [in Waziristan]. The most dedicated people there are from Europe. They will do anything for Islam. They are not there because their fathers are Muslim, but by choice,” he said.
A threat video created by the so-called “German Taliban.” The video, released on the Internet this fall, threatens to take the jihad to German cities. The message was illustrated with images of the Brandenburg Gate and the main railway station in Hamburg and even Oktoberfest in Munich.
The new video is filmed in the style of a travelogue – offering a running commentary on the beauty of the region’s forested valleys and scenic waterfalls – but includes a chilling call to arms in German, exhorting young Muslims to join them in their fight against Pakistan and its American ally.
“Join the Taliban and the Mujahedeen in the holy war against the infidel government so we can establish sharia law in Pakistan and avenge all the crimes against us,” says a bearded fighter.
Imtiaz Gul, author of The Most Dangerous Place which details the region’s militant links, said: “The IMU is clearly trying to recruit people in Germany using these videos, addressing German Muslims, who may have grown up in Germany but have come from Turkish, Algerian or Arab roots.”