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Those wishful-thinking diehards who believe Europe will eventually come to its senses regarding its security interests and reverse its suicidal tolerance of militant Islamists in its midst received a ringing slap in the face earlier this month.
The latest occurrence indicating the Old World is sliding into a bloody nightmare of Islamist violence with little desire to defend itself comes this time from Germany where news reports announced that bin Laden’s former bodyguard, who was discovered residing in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), has been busy recruiting young Muslims for the jihad. It is also believed the 36-year-old native of Tunisia, identified in newspapers in accordance with German law only as Sami A., is responsible for having radicalized two members of the Dusseldorf terrorist cell.
An al-Qaeda affiliate, the Dusseldorf cell was broken up in April of 2011. Three Islamist cell members are currently on trial, charged with planning a bomb attack in Germany.
“We have clear indications that he [Sami A.] tried to radicalise young people with his intellectual assets,” said Ralf Jaeger, the socialist interior minister for NRW.
And as if that wasn’t enough, the news publication, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ), revealed last week that the former bin Laden employee and hardcore Salafist was actually planning to open his own mosque in Bochum, a city in NRW where he has lived the past eight years with his wife and three children. It was also WAZ investigators who revealed to the German public Sami A.’s presence in NRW and jihad recruitment activities.
The WAZ revelations, understandably, have sent shock waves across Germany. This is the country where some of the 9/11 suicide bombers lived and plotted their day of infamy against America. Due to this connection, many Germans are simply incredulous, as well as very embarrassed, that a bin Laden associate, who knew 9/11 plotters like Guantanamo prisoner Ramzi Binalshibh, was even in Germany let alone carrying on terrorist activities. WAZ states that Sami A. is “connected worldwide” to terrorist networks and also knew the terrorist who helped plan the synagogue attack on Tunisia’s Djerba island.
“In the terror scene, he is considered a bright light,” states WAZ. “Radical Islamists pay homage to him. For young people who seek direction, a person like Sami A. can be a fixture point.”
According to WAZ, Sami A. first came to Germany as a student in 1997. He travelled to Pakistan in 1999, remaining for seven months, staying also in an al-Qaeda guest house in Kandahar, where he met top al-Qaeda officials. In addition, Sami A. received 45 days of military training in an al-Qaeda camp. After returning to Germany, the al-Qaeda veteran resumed his studies, eventually moving to Bochum in 2005 to study electronics and take up jihadi activities. “The weapon,” WAZ reports, “with which he fights here (in Bochum) for the victory of radical Islam is his hero’s reputation.”
Not unexpectedly, the NRW branch of the German intelligence service responsible for keeping tabs on terrorists, the Verfassungsschutz (Germany’s FBI), is at pains to explain how a man who used to personally protect Osama bin Laden with a rocket propelled grenade launcher in Pakistan in 2000 could for years radicalise and recruit unimpeded young people for the jihad. All that a spokesman for the NRW Interior Ministry would say was that they had the dangerous Islamist in their sights since his move to Bochum.
What is perhaps even more embarrassing for the security agencies is that they apparently had no idea that Sami A. was intending to open his own mosque until a 61-year-old woman tipped them off. The former bin Laden bodyguard had set up a prayer house, also without officials knowing, in an empty building on a Bochumer street that he wanted to rebuild into a mosque, using a front man to do so. But the woman, who worked nights at a nearby residence for the mentally handicapped, informed police of, as one neighbor described them, “the Islamists who come out of the mosque sometime between midnight and two o’clock” and who were “unbearably loud.”
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