The Memoirs of a German Jihadist

It is a document from the heart of the jihad: Eric Breininger, a German homegrown terrorist recently killed in Pakistan, worked on his memoirs until just days before his death. On Wednesday, the document was posted on the Internet.

Turning to jihad marks the end of a long path from a German youth trying to find his way – one who went to parties, drank alcohol and had a girlfriend. Breininger writes at the beginning of his autobiography, “I lived exactly the kind of life that every young person in the West wants to live. But I couldn’t see any meaning.”

Despite being full of pseudo-religious passages penned primarily for propaganda purposes, Breininger’s memoirs are important for the insight they provide into a world that would otherwise be difficult to understand. But one question remains unanswered: Why the jihad represents an answer to the search for meaning in life.

German Islamist Resurfaces by Video from Afghanistan

Eric Breininger has been one of Germany’s most-wanted men since he joined the Islamist Jihad Union terrorist organization. He’s now resurfaced in a video from Afghanistan. His message: He has no plans for an attack against Germany. German officials have been looking for the young man for months. It is a search that has spanned the globe, but which had largely been fruitless. Until Tuesday that is, when Eric Breininger, a young German man from the western state of Saarland, popped up in an Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) terror video claiming he is currently in Afghanistan. In the video, Breininger — a 21-year-old convert to Islam who has adopted the nom de guerre Abdulgaffar el Almani — sounds little like the terrorist German officials suspect he has become. Indeed, in the six-minute-long clip, which was posted on the IJU Web site on Tuesday, he sounds more like a young schoolboy reading his homework out loud in front of the class. The mini-movie is called “A Call from Hindu Kush,” and its message is clear: “I am currently in Afghanistan and am not personally planning an attack on the country of Germany,” Breininger says into the camera. Yassin Musharbash reports.

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Muslim German wanted for attack plan probably not in country

A German convert to Islam who is wanted by police on suspicion of planning a suicide attack is probably not in Germany, federal police said Sunday. A three-week-long nationwide manhunt with wanted posters and online pictures has prompted 333 reports from the public about possible sightings of the man, Eric Breininger, 21, and his friend Houssain al-Malla, 23. They were last seen among Islamist radicals in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Breininger did not become a Muslim until he was nearly grown up. Confirming a report in the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, the BKA federal police headquarters in Wiesbaden, central Germany, said none of the tip-offs had produced hard evidence of Breininger being on German soil. His whereabouts were still unknown. Asked if Breininger still posed a danger to Germany, a BKA spokeswoman would only say, “The search with public help is continuing.” Both men face arrest on suspicion of membership of a terrorist group, which is a crime under German law. A video released earlier this year by Islamists showed Breininger with an AK-47 rifle on his shoulder, speaking of dying an Islamic martyr’s death.

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