Monday, October 12, 2009

A clear and present danger

(With Sunday October 11th, the 70 year anniversary of German physicist Einstein introducing the possibilities of an atomic bomb to America, passing quietly {thankfully ...verily 'tis all about da symbol}, it should be noted that this story, which is truly a clear and present danger to the United States, is getting little to no play in the MSM. An attack had been predicted on a Sunday within two weeks after the German elections. Authorities took it seriously and rounded up as many usual suspects as possible. -AM)

Eight years after 9/11, the city where the attack was planned is once more enjoying a sad reputation as a center for Islamic terrorism.

The German media reported earlier this week that German security officials are tracking in Hamburg a new, ten-man Islamic terrorist group.

Hamburg is the city that hosted Mohammed Atta and other key, 9/11 terrorists, while they planned their strike against the World Trade Center. Afterwards, history bestowed the city's name on Atta and his associates, who ever since have been collectively called the "Hamburg Cell."

According to an internal intelligence report composed by Hamburg's security agencies, ten Muslims from the northern German port city travelled to Pakistan's wild border region last March for training in an al Qaeda camp. Taking part in this "conspiratorial action", were two German converts.

"The individual group members dispose ...of a fundamental jihadist attitude and are numbered among the violent jihadist scene in Hamburg," the intelligence report stated.

Besides their depraved ideology, what the two generations of Islamic terrorists have most in common was their use of the same Hamburg mosque as a meeting place. Currently called the Taiba mosque, in Mohammad Atta's time it was known as Al Quds.

But what probably has remained the same is that, if asked, no one at the Taiba mosque would know anything about the latest terrorist cell meeting within its walls, just as earlier Atta's activities somehow escaped notice.

The German newspaper, Die Welt, reported that German security officials are very alarmed about Hamburg's second generation terrorists. Unlike the cell around Mohammad Atta that targeted America, Atta's successors are expected to launch a terrorist attack inside of Germany.

Already, authorities announced they believe the cell's two ethnic converts have returned to Germany, which has angered the German public.

Germans are, naturally, questioning how the two home-grown jihadists not only could leave the country unhindered for terrorist training, but also slip back into Germany.

Before the existence of the new Hamburg terrorist cell was revealed, Germans were already tense. Their country is on a high state of alert for terrorist attacks. Threatening videos, made in German by German jihadists in Pakistan and released in late September before the federal election, promised a terrorist attack on German soil within two weeks of election day if Germans did not vote to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan.

To their credit, the German electorate would not be intimidated and returned conservative Angela Merkel to the chancellor's office with a strengthened mandate. This act of defiance caused the German Islamists to release two more menacing videos, again in German, from their Waziristan hideout last weekend. The time frame to fulfill that promise to strike ends this Sunday. (And passed...a CBS article further below might help explain why. -AM)

The new Hamburg jihadists, however, are not the only al Qaeda-trained German terrorists the German public has to worry about. The Office for the Defense of the Federal Constitution (Germany's CIA) announced that an astonishing 180 Islamists from Germany had received terrorist training in al Qaeda and Islamic Jihad Union camps in Waziristan. Of these, a speaker for the intelligence agency said about 80 had returned to Germany, but would not say how many were under surveillance.

And it is not only al Qaeda-trained terrorists from Waziristan that are targeting Germany for its troop presence in Afghanistan. Days before September's federal election, authorities in five German states raided 19 apartments belonging to suspected Islamists.

The respected German newspaper, Die Frankfurter Allgemeine, reported that the raids targeted German converts who were recruiting for a Koran school in Yemen. The paper quoted sources from German security circles who maintained the school's operators are closely connected with al Qaeda and suspected the school also serves as a military training camp for "numerous converts from Europe and the United States."

Here is more detail from CBS news: -AM

10/09/09 (CBS News)

Amid the heightened security and nerves, German media reported earlier this week that security services had detected a 10-member terrorist cell in the port city of Hamburg — the same city where the 9/11 attacks were planned.

(There were reports in German papers of a co-ordinated raid involving 150 or more agents. -AM)

News of the cell emerged from a secret German intelligence report leaked to a television program and Die Welt newspaper.

"It is to be assumed that these persons are absolutely prepared to carry out suicide or other attacks at home or abroad," the report said, according to Die Welt and the German magazine news program.

"The members of the group have a basic commitment to jihad and belong to Hamburg's potentially violent pro-jihad scene."

According to the report, the cell was headed by a German man of Syrian origin identified only as Rami M. The group reportedly frequented the Taiba mosque, the same mosque where 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and his key accomplices made their final will before leaving to the United States.

All 10 of the cell-members reportedly left Hamburg earlier this year to attend militant training camps in the volatile border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But, according to the German media, the report says two of them returned recently to Germany.

Abhu Talha "the German" is not alone. An increasing number of jihadi propaganda videos with German-speaking militants have surfaced online in recent months. They often show entire villages in the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan border region apparently populated by German-speakers.

Such was the case with an hour long video posted online earlier this week by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), an Uzbek al Qaeda proxy group known for its association with German jihadists since the time of the Chechen war.

During a recent online meeting with his supporters, exiled British cleric Omar Bakri speculated that al Qaeda would hit hard against Germany, striking simultaneously in multiple locations. "As an expert in the field, I am telling you: they have to do it... they got their credibility hanging on the line," said Bakri, an open supporter of al Qaeda.

Back to

Threats to German security because of its Afghansitan role are also originating in non-Moslem countries. A Moroccan living in Canada, Said Namouh, was convicted last week in a Canadian court for planning to launch terrorist attacks in Germany and Austria to force them to withdraw from the NATO effort. The Canadian prosecutor said that, without a doubt, Namouh planned bomb attacks in the two countries and was "ready to die as a martyr."

While it may seem strange that a terrorist residing in Canada, a country that also has troops in Afghanistan, would target far-off Germany, it is no mystery to western intelligence services. Both German and American security authorities viewed Germany as a prime target for a terrorist attack this year due to September's federal elections. A successful terrorist attack, al Qaeda had hoped, would cause the German electorate to vote for troop withdrawal, much like the 2004 Madrid train bombings before Spain's election saw the Spanish military pulled out of Iraq.

According to polls, about 70 per cent of Germans would like their soldiers withdrawn from Afghanistan. This fact was also instrumental in their country becoming a major terrorist target this year. Due to their burden of history, war is unpopular with Germans, among whom now runs a strong, pacifistic streak that al Qaeda wants to exploit. It views Germany as the weak link among major NATO countries.

But unfortunately Hamburg and other German cities are destined to host more terrorist cells in the future. The best evidence of this appeared in a recently released al Qaeda video that proudly put the German terrorist colony in Waziristan on display. German viewers were disturbed to see the terrorists' children shooting assault rifles with several blond, European-looking children noticeable among them. The next generation of German-speaking terrorists is already in training.

(What strikes me as stunning is that if you do the google news search of you get the frontpagenews article, cbs news and a article ...

A happy ending? ... -AM)

12 October, 2009, 14:54

Whilst the images of 9/11 still haunt Western civilizations, many experts are of the view that Al Qaeda's appeal is sinking. As the doctrine of global jihad wavers, is the terrorist threat also diminishing?

Many specialists and students of Islamic terrorism are professing that there are signs that Al Qaeda's attractiveness in the Muslim world is gradually becoming discredited. Although those who are not experts of contemporary terrorism and who are mere 'consumers of the media' may find the proclamation that mass carnage produced by suicide bombers is on the wane hard to believe.

According to several surveys conducted by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, polling citizens’ opinions about terrorism in several Muslim countries, since 2002 the number of Muslims holding the view that extreme terrorism is “often or sometimes justified” has been significantly and consistently reduced. Further evidence the polls revealed was that support of Osama Bin Laden has dropped by more than half. According to a report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project:

“A large and growing number of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere [are] rejecting Islamic extremism.”

Brian Michael Jenkins, an advisor to the president of the US Rand Corporation think-tank, refers to today's terrorists as 'bungling home-grown plotters'. In Germany, a German-Turkish citizen suspected of preparing bombs and posting Islamic fundamentalism propaganda on the Internet was arrested. In the US, a Jordanian man was also apprehended after he attempted to blow up a skyscraper in Dallas. Federal Bureau Investigation agents have frantically been trying to solve the case of a shuttle driver at Denver airport accused of purchasing chemicals to make the explosives he had been trained to make in Pakistan. Whilst the latest acts of terrorism may substantiate Jenkins's “bungling home grown plotters” definition, the popular revelations that Al Qaeda is losing credibility throughout the Muslim world and subsequently lessening the threat of terrorism, is less definite.

Jenkins said on Adnorkronos International:

“Al Qaeda is no longer capable of carrying out a big attack. Its capability appears to have been degraded over the years. It has had great difficulty in sustaining a global campaign of terrorism.”

Thomas W. Lippman, specialist in Middle Eastern affairs, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle East Studies, Council on Foreign Relations, talked exclusively to RT. Although Mr Lippman acknowledges that Al Qaeda is falling from popular favor and failing to attract recruits, disputing Jenkins statement, he says that this “wavering in popularity” is no reason to believe that terrorism is no longer a real threat.

“Its program is violence and opposition, but it offers nothing positive. It also has an unbroken record of failure. Yes, there have been tactical successes, such as 9/11, but no strategic successes. It has alienated people through brutality and excess, as we saw in Anbar,” said Lippman.

“But the threat of terrorism has not receded: the more desperate these people become, the more desperately they will act, as we saw in the attempted assassination of Prince Muhammad bin Nayef. But the ability of security forces to interdict them has increased greatly, in the US, in Europe, and in Saudi Arabia,” he continued.

(Sigh ... are you ready for some football? -AM)

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