Spanish Jihadist returning from Syria arrested in Spain

30 April 2014

 

Spanish authorities have arrested a French-Algerian man suspected of participating in terrorist activity in Syria.

Spain’s Interior Ministry says Abdelmalek Tanem was detained in the southeastern region of Almeria on Wednesday.

Tanem was helping Europeans enter Syria to join extremist groups and fight the Syrian government.

Tanem was a member of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) from October 2013 to January 2014, according to the Interior Ministry.

The ministry said in a statement that the 24-year-old Tanem is accused of participating in unspecified terrorist activity in Syria with radical groups operating there and also worked on Syria’s border with Turkey to help European would-be extremists get into Syria.

Born in May 1989 in Vitry-Sur-Seine, France, Abdelmalek Tanem, recently returned from Syria.

The arrest is the second Spain has made of an alleged extremist arriving in the country from Syria.

French authorities assisted Spain’s Civil Guard with the investigation. The statement says Tanem holds Algerian citizenship.

French Interior Ministry Opens Strasbourg Mosque

News Agencies – September 27, 2012

 

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls opened the country’s largest Mosque in eastern France, in his first speech to Muslims after the insulting caricatures were released of the Prophet Mohammed. During the opening ceremony of the Great Mosque, Valls praised the wisdom of Muslim leaders, who have called their followers to keep calm following the publication of the caricatures by the Charlie Hebdo Weekly.

 

“Racism, fundamentalism are not part of Islam,” said the Minister, who also praised the wise and mature stance adopted by French Muslims. The Minister also warned that the government will expel those, who using the name of the Islam, try to attack institutions or cause any type of riots. The inauguration ceremony was attended by local authorities, as well as by representatives of other religions.

 

The building of the Great Mosque started in 1993 and was partially opened during the holy month of Ramadan in 2011, though it was closed afterwards to conclude the construction work.

The German Interior Ministry’s Controversial Poster Campaign: Encouraging Prejudice and Paranoia

Sometimes good intentions are just not enough: a new campaign by the German interior ministry, says Robert Misik, only contributes to the widespread paranoia about “the Muslims” – and thus encourages the very radicalism it wants to fight

The German interior ministry is currently on the hunt for missing persons. In fact, quite a lot has gone missing from the country’s security services: files about a gang of neo-Nazi killers which got lost and shredded, for example. But that’s not what the ministry is looking for: the “missing” it’s looking for are called Ahmed, Hassan, Fatima and Tim. Their friends can’t seem to talk to them any more – they’ve become strange.

All four of them – the three immigrants and the young German – have in common that, in fact, they don’t exist. They’ve emerged from the fantasy of some PR-types who’ve thought up a nice public relations campaign for the ministry’s “Radicalisation Advice Centre”. What they also have in common – at least according to the brief texts on the “missing” posters – is that they have all drifted into Islamist fundamentalism; they’ve been caught in the fangs of some radical preacher and their character has suffered a deep change, so that their former friends don’t recognise them any more.

It’s not just Muslim organisations and immigrants’ associations which are up in arms about the new campaign; many people working in the integration field are also shaking their heads in disbelief: the campaign, they say, encourages prejudice and paranoia. They want it stopped.

Harris Poll Suggests French Blame Immigrants for Integration Failure

April 20, 2011

Two-thirds of French people see the integration of immigrants into France as a failure and most believe the fault lies with the immigrants, an opinion poll showed on Wednesday. In the poll by Harris Interactive, published in the daily Le Parisien, 66% of respondents said immigrants had adapted badly to life in France and just over half felt the situation had worsened in the past ten years.
More than three quarters of the sample group said immigrants had not made enough of an effort to adapt to French society, according to the poll, carried out between April 8-10 among 1,631 people from all political backgrounds. Anxiety about immigrants in general and Muslims in particular has featured prominently in early campaigning for the 2012 presidential election in France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim population, estimated at five to six million according to the Interior Ministry.

Germany Has 1 Million More Muslims than Previously Thought

A new Interior Ministry study has revealed that Muslims in Germany are much more integrated than previously thought: Around half are German citizens and 70 percent of women never wear a headscarf. There are also many more Muslims in the country than was previously estimated.

Poor, uneducated and living in a “parallel society” of headscarf-wearing women and criminal youth: The common stereotype of Muslims in Germany is not an all-too-positive one. But a new study reveals a surprisingly different picture of the reality — including the fact that many more Muslims live in Germany than was previously believed. The study, which was commissioned by the Interior Ministry together with Germany’s Islam Conference, is the first country-wide study that gives a representative overview of Muslim life in Germany. Researchers from the Nuremberg-based Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) interviewed around 6,000 Muslims from 49 different countries about the role of religion in their everyday life and various aspects of integration. A summary of the study was published Tuesday and the full study will be presented Thursday at the last meeting of the Islam Conference, which Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble initiated in 2006 in a bid to launch a dialogue between the German state and the Muslim community.

US asks Germany to take Gitmo prisoners

The United States has asked Germany to accept some Guantanamo prisoners when the facility is closed, the Interior Ministry said Sunday, confirming German media reports. An Interior Ministry spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with the ministry’s policy, confirmed a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the U.S. has provided a list of names of prisoners it would like Germany to accept. “There is a concrete request,” the spokesman said, saying he could not provide any further details. Der Spiegel reported, without citing sources, that the U.S. had asked Germany to accept 10 prisoners. Top-selling Bild newspaper, meanwhile, reported the 10 were Chinese Muslims, known as Uighurs. It also did not cite sources. President Barack Obama has ordered the military prison in Cuba shuttered in the next nine months. U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at the end of April that the U.S. Justice Department is still trying to determine how many of the 241 prisoners in Guantanamo will be taken by other countries. Also at the end of April, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder spent several days privately asking European leaders in London, Prague and Berlin for help relocating prisoners the United States wants to set free. In Berlin, Holder said the United States had made decisions on a group of about 30 prisoners, but had not yet decided where it wants to send them. Torsten Holtz reports.

US asks Germany to take 10 Guantánamo inmates

The US government has officially asked Germany to accept as many as 10 inmates from the Guantánamo Bay prison, handing over a list to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office and the Foreign Ministry. The request was made last week during a visit by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who spent four days in Europe talking to top judicial and interior officials from the European Union about how President Barack Obama intended to close the prison within the year. “A specific request has been made,” a German Interior Ministry spokesman said Sunday. After his talks in Berlin, Mr. Holder said Wednesday that 30 inmates could be freed immediately if a host country would be willing to take them in. In all, about 50 of the 241 inmates cannot be sent back to their own countries because they may be tortured or face the death penalty there. In an apparent contradiction to the Interior Ministry, Mr. Holder had added that no “specific requests” or “specific promises” had been made. The German interior and foreign ministries said Daniel Fried, a senior diplomat and a member of Mr. Holder’s team, had presented the list. Mr. Fried, who has been the assistant secretary of state for European affairs and is a former ambassador to Poland, is now Washington’s top diplomat dealing with the closing of the Guantánamo prison. The issue has divided the German government. Mrs. Merkel’s conservatives are in no hurry to accept any former inmates, fearing that they could pose a security threat. The Social Democrats, Mrs. Merkel’s coalition partners, are more eager to accept them, for moral reasons but also because they want to give the Obama administration tangible help. Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister and a member of Mrs. Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, discussed with Mr. Holder in detail the logistics of taking in any inmates. Mr. Schäuble has always made it clear that the United States has primary responsibility for the inmates, because it opened the camp after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But in recent weeks, Mr. Schäuble also said Germany might consider taking some detainees, under certain conditions.

Washington Post

Iraqi immigrants detained in south

Ten undocumented Iraqi immigrants were arrested by police near the city of Brindisi in southern Italy. The illegal immigrants were picked up without identity documents, and await expulsion from the police station in Brindisi.

This year, a record 24,241 illegal immigrants have been found to reach Italy between January and September 16th, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.

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Authorities order expulsion of Islamic leader

An imam in Turin was expelled from Italy to his native Morocco, after his sermons were secretly filmed and deemed a threat to public security. Mohamed Kohaila has been living in Italy for several years according to the Interior Ministry, and that checks from local and national anti-terrorism authorities showed that Kohaila was inciting violently anti-Western behavior and maintained a close relationship to militant jihadists. Kohaila denies the allegations.

German study looks at Muslims’ views

A German study has revealed that while many Muslims in Germany have fundamentalist viewpoints, a large majority rejects terrorist attacks. Commissioned by Germany’s Interior Ministry, the study found that four out of 10 Muslims in Germany would justify the use of violence in case Islam was threatened by the West. The study, which questioned 1,750 Muslims all over the country, was carried out by the Institute of Criminology at the University of Hamburg. It also found that nearly half of all Muslims living in German believe they will be granted entry to paradise if they die defending their religion. However, an overwhelming majority of Muslims living in Germany reject terrorism.