German Jihadists in Syria

February 21, 2014

 

According to security authorities, a number of 270 German Jihadists have travelled to Syria to participate at the civil war. US and European intelligence estimate 2000 fighters from Europe in the Arab country. Among them, Abu Talha Al-Almani, aka Deso Dogg, aka Dennis Cuspert, a German rapper who converted to Islam a few years ago. Almani has been seen in syria, singing a cappella Jihadi songs (Nasheed) for the cause of the Jihad. A music video was released by the German Islamist site Tawhid, after Al Almani was reported to be injured in combat.

Dennis Cuspert was born  in 1975 in Berlin. A public „Gangsta Rapper“ a changed his appearance and became an Islamist preacher by the name of Abu Maleeq. He is said to be connected to Mohamed Mahmoud, aka Abu Usama al-Gharib, an Austrian of Egyptian origin. Mahmoud is said to be the founder of the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a jihadist propaganda platform.  Mahmoud was sentenced to four years in prison for by an Austrian court for terrorism offenses.

He reportedly left Austria for Berlin shortly after his release in September 2011. Mahmoud and Cuspert left to the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and founded the Salafist association Millatu Ibrahim, which was banned by the Minister of Interior in 2012. The clashes between Salafist activists and police shocked the German authorities. The riots broke out within the context of an “anti-Muhammad” cartoon campaign, initiated by the extreme right-wing Pro NRW. Al- Almani calls Muslims to leave Germany and to join the Jihad in Syria. A full interview with the German Islamist is available (see link).

With regard to the mobilization of Jihadi action in Syria, Al-Almani calls Muslims with German citizenship to ask for German unemployment benefits and donations to support the cause of the Jihadi and their companions in the State of Iraq and al-Sham.

 

Al Monitor: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/deso-dogg-germany-salafists-syria-jihad.html?utm_source=Al-Monitor+Newsletter+%5BEnglish%5D&utm_campaign=284febf6ef-January_9_20141_8_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_28264b27a0-284febf6ef-93074789#

Interview with Al-Almani English subtitles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rm5CQOUrhYo#t=71

Office for the Protection of the Constitution: http://verfassungsschutz-bw.de/,Lde/Startseite/Aktuelles/Neue+Internetpraesenz+von+deutschen+Jihadisten+in+Syrien+zeigt+die+Nutzung+aktueller+Moeglichkeiten+von+Propaganda+und+Kommunikation+auf

Extremists in GermanyRight-wing Agitators versus Islamist Fanatics

They agitate, they incite, they are relentlessly intolerant: Salafists and those hostile to Islam continually whip each other into a frenzy with their mutual hatred. But no matter how much cold calculation the rightist rabble-rousers bring to their provocations, the law must protect them from persecution. A commentary by Hans Leyendecker

Islamists and Islam-haters are different in many ways, yet they also have much in common. They are blinded by hatred, they incite, they provoke, they want to escalate the conflict at any price and they are relentlessly intolerant.

Ever since radical militant Salafists and the Islam-hostile right-wing populists from the fringe party Pro NRW had at each other in May 2012, fighting in the streets and injuring 29 policemen in the process, it was only to be expected that this would not be the end of the violence.

The news that a group of extremist Salafists was allegedly planning the assassination of Marcus Beisicht, the head of Pro NRW, and other members of the far-right party does not come as a complete surprise, but that doesn’t make it any less disturbing. Is a religious war in the offing, to be waged with knives, guns and explosives?

Pitiful provocateurs

There is no doubt about it: Beisicht and his splinter group are pathetic provocateurs. They have sought out every possible opportunity to sow hatred and challenge Islamist fanatics to a fight by holding anti-Islam rallies and displaying Mohammed caricatures outside mosques. They wanted to provoke an escalation and coolly calculated that the fanaticism of their opponents would play into their hands.

Beisicht, a lawyer, is their mastermind. He has represented the right-wing party The Republicans on the Cologne City Council and defended a neo-Nazi who was indicted for sedition and using anti-constitutional symbols – in short, he is no ordinary populist.

He is a radical who enjoys playing the “persecuted innocent”, as Karl Kraus once dubbed agitators of his ilk. Beisicht complained early on about death threats and a fatwa that Islamic scholars had allegedly decreed against him. Now, a few crazed backroom Islamists have apparently done just that.

The state must protect the right-wing firebrands

But no matter how coldly calculating and idiotic the plans hatched by the agitators on the extreme right may be, the rule of law must nonetheless protect them from persecution. No religion, no confession of the supposedly true faith justifies attacks. Holy warriors are not blood-stained saints but criminals.

The state must do everything in its power to contain the Salafists. This might include banning associations, conducting raids and continuous surveillance. In official reports, Salafism is generally described as a kind of instantaneous fomenter of terrorism, which is not quite the case. The majority of the 4,000 Salafists in Germany aim only to spread their faith; only a minority dream of inciting war.

It was a good sign that the major Islamic associations distanced themselves from this group in the past. Islamist extremists are the true enemies of Islam, because their actions spark regularly recurring discussions among the general populace that all Muslims are backward and violent. Islam is part of Germany, but the country must not let itself be provoked by fanatics and firebrands.

Hans Leyendecker

Police raid against German Salafists

March 13

 

German police has started a raid against German Salafists in the States of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia. The German police focused its raid at cities such as Frankfurt am Main, Oberhausen, Gladbeck, Solingen und Wuppertal. The Ministry of Interior declared that more than twenty investigations have been initiated against suspects. The Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) describes the raid as an act against violent extremist individuals and extremist associative structures. The Ministry has banned the associations DawaFFM (Invitation Frankfurt am Main) and Al Nusrah, which is a sub group of the banned Millatu Ibrahim. These groups have been suspected to send radicalized Muslims to Mali and Syria to fight for Jihad.

 

Having observed the German Salafist movement, the Ministry suspects Salafist groups to propagate an aggressive rhetoric against the free democratic basic order. It is said, that the number of Salafists in Germany has doubled up to a number of 4500.

 

Moreover, German police reports the arrest of two militant Islamists in the cities of Bonn and Essen. Enea B. and Marco G. are suspected to plan a plot against Markus Beisicht, leader of the right-wing extremist party Pro North-Rhine Westphalia. According to the police, weapons and explosive chemical materials were found in the apartments of the suspects. Security experts expect a list of persons, who have been targeted by Islamists.

 

The Minister of Interior Friedrich sees no correlation between the arrests and the raid. In 2012, Salafists and the right-wing extremist Pro NRW have been clashing in the city of Solingen after an anti-Islam cartoon campaign of Pro NRW.

Young Islamist sends out death calls against Right-wing movement Pro NRW

May 25

The 27 year-old German Islamist Yassin Chouka, alias “Abu Ibrahim” has sent out a death call via the Internet. In a video, released on the You Tube platform on May 18th, he condemns the Muhammad Cartoon campaign, organized a few weeks ago by the right-wing movement party of Pro North Rhine-Westphalia in some German cities. In his words, Pro NRW members have insulted the prophet and deserve the only possible punishment, which is death. In his call, Chouka asks to gather detailed information about Pro NRW members, their address in order to locate and murder them.

German security authorities have expressed high concern in regard of this issue: this is the first time a recognized member of the Islamist community calls for such a drastic action. The interests of German security forces are focusing on young self-radicalized individuals, sympathizing with the Jihadist scene. Also, the Federal Prosecutor General is investigating against Chouka, accusing him of activities in a terrorist association

Yassin Chouka is born in Germany and moved to Pakistan in 2007 to join a terrorist group called Islamic movement of Uzbekistan (IMZ). A splinter group of IMZ is the Islamic Jihad Union, which attempted to commit a terrorist plot by the so called “Sauerland cell”. The Sauerland group planned bomb attacks across Germany but was uncovered and arrested by German security forces in 2007. Together with his older brother Mounir Chouka, Yassin released periodical video messages from Waziristan calling for terrorist attacks in Germany. According to his core statements, Germany would deserve the harshest punishment possible, as it would be governed by “Jewish forces” and cooperate with the USA in Afghanistan. Recently, the Chouka brothers had praised the French Islamist Mohammed Merah as a martyr for having killed seven persons. Yassin and Mounir Chouka are suspected to be in the area of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. German and US Federal authorities are hunting both with an international arrest warrant.

Salafist Activism in Germany

April 13/ May 8

 

This spring, Salafi activism and reactions to it have been at the centre of public attention in Germany.

 

At the end of April, the “Read the Koran” initiative took place: Salafi activists distributed free copies of the Koran to passers-by in several German cities. The event has triggered a discussion among German authorities on how to deal with the recent activities of the radical Islamist branch. Politicians and the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution have expressed great concern about the Koran distribution initiative, interpreting it as propaganda and a destabilizing factor for religious peace. Journalists who were reporting about the Salafist activities were threatened by some Salafi adherents. The latter have also released intimidating videos on the internet platform You Tube.

 

Days later, as the date of elections of the German Federal State North RhineWestphalia was drawing close, the far right-wing movement (Pro NRW) has initiated a German wide “Muhammad cartoon contest”, displaying provoking Muhammad cartoons in front of mosques. On May 1st, Pro NRW gathered a group of its adherents in the German city of Solingen, and about thirty Salafi activists used this opportunity to protest against the anti-Islamic cartoons. The Salafi protest turned to violent confrontation, when some radical Islamists begun to attack German police by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners.

 

Confrontation escalated dramatically in Bonn on May 6th. Approximately 200 Salafists attacked about 30 far right-wing extremists, belonging to Pro NRW, who were showing posters of the Muhammad cartoons. More than 29 police men were injured through stone and knife attacks by violent Salafi. Rather than spontaneous, the Salafi counter protesters are said to have been mobilized in advance. The North RhineWestphalian Minister of Interior Ralf Jäger (SPD) called for strict legal consequences against the violent extremists and condemned the provocation of Pro NRW as an attempt of sedition against the four millions of peaceful Muslims in Germany.

 

 

The context: Salafi leaders and associations

 

There are about 4000 Salafi adherents in Germany, living all over the country but mostly in its Western regions, like North Rhine-Westphalia (Cologne, Moenchen-Gladbach, Iserlohn), as well as in Berlin.

 

Among leading figures for the movement there is Ibrahim Abou Nagie, a preacher and project initiator from Cologne. He is said to be a Palestinian from Gaza who migrated to Germany as student of electric engineering. He claims then to have made a multimillionaire fortune as a businessman but that he had changed his mind when he found the internet platform “The True Religion”. While he was one of the leaders of the campaign “Read the Koran”, he does not seem to be involved in the anti-cartoons demonstrations. German authorities regard his platform as one of the political strands of Salafism but suspect him to be close to violent Jihadi circles, radicalizing Muslims with hate speeches. Some of these hate speeches have called to execute homosexuals and called to persecute Jews.  Organization-wise, since 2005, Abou Nagie used the online platform “The True Religion” to preach and address young Muslims. He and other Salafi members invite young Muslims to become conscious about their religion. Skype conferences are also offered, to invite conversions and offer advice about religious jurisprudence.

 

Pierre Vogel is another central figure among the Salafi. He belongs to the political arm of Salafism refusing the Jihad approach in his official speeches. A former boxer, the German man converted to Islam and started preaching on You Tube, mainly addressing young Muslims with messages about the Sharia and whether the fundamental values of 7th Century Islam would be conform with today’s cultural and societal forms of life. He uses examples related to leisure time, disco, music, alcohol and unveiled women to attract the interest of young Muslims. Despite, or probably because of his popularity among younger Muslims, he has denied any active involvement in the recent Salafi actions. He has actually condemned the violence, while still supporting the spirit of the anti-cartoons protest.

 

A third important Salafist, the Austrian Islamist Muhammad Mahmud, has been deported at the end of April by the German State of Hessen. Mahmud, also known as Abu Usama al-Gharib (Name in Jihadi milieu), was convicted and found guilty of creating the German speaking branch of the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), an organization supporting and advertising the actions of Al Qaida in the media. He perceives himself as a neo-fundamentalist who would convert Germans to Salafi Islam.

 

Last, Sheikh Hassan Dabbagh who is an Imam and preacher of the Al-Rahman mosque in the German city of Leipzig. He uses the internet platform www.Salaf.de to speak about Islamic practice, family issues and the prophet Muhammad. He belongs to the political strand of Salafism and has criticized the Salafi protests appealing them to reject violence. Preaching the Islamic missionary approach of Dawa, he eschewed the recent escalation that would only serve German authorities and media to condemn the Salafi and isolate Islam from Germany.      

 

The association “Invitation to Paradise” was a center for mobilization and organization of Salafi activities. Social and cultural activities such as collective prayers, pilgrimages and protests against the ban of Burqa were organized in Cologne and Moenchen-Gladbach. Parts of its activities were webinars, which offered courses on Islamic studies. Together with other Salafi organizations, “Invitation to Paradise” became the object of a police investigation in the aftermaths of a terrorist attack in March 2011: two American soldiers had been shot by a self-radicalized young Islamist. Before the State authorities took any action to ban the association, “Invitation to Paradise” dissolved itself.

 

(Die Zeit Online PDF Version)

http://pdf.zeit.de/gesellschaft/2012-04/salafisten-koran-debatte.pdf

 

(Spiegel Online International – English Version)

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,830775,00.html

 

(Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution –Report Salafism)

http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/download/SHOW/broschuere_1204_salafistische_bestrebungen.pdf

 

(Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution –Report 2010)

http://www.verfassungsschutz.de/download/SHOW/vsbericht_2010.pdf

 

(Replaced webpage of “Invitation to Islam”)

https://www.muslimtube.de/

 

(Political Missionary Salafism)

www.salaf.de

 

(SWP Study 2012)

http://www.swp-berlin.org/fileadmin/contents/products/studien/2012_S05_dfr.pdf

 

Far-right-wing demonstration provokes violent protest of Salafists in Solingen

May 1

 

A far-right movement in the western state North RhineWestphalia (Pro NRW) has initiated a German wide “Muhammad cartoon contest”, displaying provoking Muhammad cartoons in front of mosques. On May 1st, Pro NRW gathered a group of its adherents in the German city of Solingen. The German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich had previously raised concerns about these activities, which would provoke violent clashes and threaten German security.

 

Some 30 radical Islamist Salafists used this opportunity to protest against the anti-Islamic cartoons. The Salafist protest turned to violent confrontation, when some radical Islamists begun to attack German police by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners.

Extremist Swede gives millions to German anti-Islam party

Patrik Brinkmann, a Swedish far-right businessman, has announced to donate €5 to Pro NRW, a Cologne-based anti-Islam populist party. In a report to air Sunday night on Germany’s public broadcaster WDR, Brinkmann says he fears Germany is becoming “too foreign” and that shari’a law will be introduced in the country.
Brinkmann, who moved to Berlin in 2007, claims that politicians do not share his fears. 



“That’s why I believe that a new right wing (in Germany) can not only succeed, but in five or ten years be as large as the FPÖ in Austria or the SVP in Switzerland,” he added, referring to Austria’s Freedom Party and the Swiss People’s Party, two far-right groups which have enjoyed a certain amount of electoral success. 


The millionaire, who reportedly already has ties to Germany’s extreme-right NPD and DVU parties, will finance a building for Pro NRW to be used as an anti-Islam center. Burkhard Freier, the deputy head of the North Rhine-Westphalian branch of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Verfassungsschutz, considers Pro NRW and a related group, Pro Köln (Pro Cologne), dangerous organizations. They are, however, insignificantly small and opposition to their supremacist world-view is strong.

German-Jewish Writer Opposes Anti-Islam Conference

A well-known Holocaust survivor has said he strongly opposes the international anti-Islam conference slated to take place in Germany next month, despite his critical stance on Islam. German Jewish writer and Holocaust survivor Ralph Giordano has come out strongly against the planned so-called Anti-Islamization Congress — a meeting of extreme-right European political forces — planned for Sept. 19-20 in Cologne. The right-wing extremist groups Pro Koeln and Pro NRW are organizing the event, with the aim of issuing a declaration opposed to the purported “Islamification” of Europe. Big names in xenophobia: The meeting will be attended by some of the most inflammatory names in European race politics, including Jean- Marie Le Pen of France, Austria’s Heinz-Christian Strache, and Belgium’s Filip Dewinter. In the past, the Pro Koeln and Pro NRW have invoked comments by Giordano, who has said he considers German integration policy a failure. He has also warned of “false tolerance” in the prosecution of foreign juvenile delinquents. But Giordano now says he does not want to be “instrumentalized” by the extreme right at the conference.

Anti-Islamic Party Is Playing With Fear

Right-wing radicals in Cologne are gaining traction with Germany’s first anti-Islamic party. The German domestic intelligence agency is alarmed — but so are traditional neo-Nazis, whomay have to shift their tactics to compete. The so-called “Pro Cologne” pary has been watched with suspicion by the domestic intelligence agency — the Verfassungsschutz or Office for the Protection of the Constitution — for several months. They are gathering support in the otherwise liberal-minded and open city of Cologne to protest an enormous mosque slated for construction in the district of Ehrenfeld. Around 300 members of Pro Cologne have collected more than 20,000 signatures, and a few unsavory characters on the German far right hope to use their success as a way to win seats in state parliaments.With a new political party called “Pro NRW” (Pro North-Rhine Westphalia), stemming from the Pro Cologne movement, two leaders named Markus Beisicht and Manfred Rouhs want to win enough votes to enter the state parliament in 2010. About a dozen Pro Cologne spinoffs are already preparing local campaigns across the state — in Gelsenkirchen, Duisburg, D_sseldorf, Essen and Bottrop, among other places. Where no new mosques are being planned, Beisicht says, the party will just fight smaller existing mosques. The Rhinelanders also have their eyes on Berlin: Party functionaries sent mailouts last October to addresses in the capital to protest a planned mosque in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg. They’ve even established a citizens’ movement with an even more awkward name: “Pro Deutschland.” Officials at the Office for the Protection of the Constitution think it’s possible that Beisicht and his friends will gain resonance with voters and even overtake the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party (NPD) in western states. The NPD — which tends to line up with Israel-hating Muslim groups — has tried to block the new competition by mounting similar anti-mosque efforts. They’ve organized a group in M_nster called “Citizens’ Movement Pro M_nster” to hinder the Cologne party’s march to state power. Andrea Brandt and Guido Kleinhubbert report.

Düsseldorf: Zwischen Ehrgeiz Und Benachteiligung Alevitentum Als Schulfach Eingeführt, Doch Anzahl Der Alevititischen

Sch_ler Unklar The Ministry of Education in North Rhine Westphalia has accepted the offer of the Alevitischen Gemeinde Deutschland to provide religious instruction in schools. This follows Berlin, Hessia, Bavaria, and Baden Wurttemberg in the recognition of the community. The instruction will follow the determination of the number of students desiring this instruction. The recognition of the community highlights the lack of Muslim religious instruction. Although the number of Muslim students is well-known, this has not yet taken place. Some see this as a step towards remedying the lack of instruction in Islam. Das Schulministerium in NRW hat den Antrag der Alevitischen Gemeinde Deutschland (AABF) zur Einf_hrung eines alevitischen Religionsunterrichts angenommen. Nach Berlin haben damit die Bundesl_nder NRW, Hessen, Bayern und Baden-W_rttemberg das Alevitentum als eine eigenst_ndige Glaubenslehre anerkannt. Die Kultusministerien dieser L_nder hatten Prof. Ursula Spuler-Stegemann damit beauftragt, _ber das Alevitentum ein religionswissenschaftliches Gutachten zu erstellen. Zudem sollte Prof. Stefan Muckel von der K_lner Universit_t feststellen, ob die AABF eine Religionsgemeinschaft im Sinne des Art. 7, Abs. 3 Grundgesetzes ist. “Beide Gutachter sind zu dem Ergebnis gekommen, dass die AABF als eine Religionsgemeinschaft alle Voraussetzungen f_r die Einf_hrung des alevitischen Religionsunterrichts nach Art. 7.3 erf_llt”, sagt Ismail Kaplan, der als Bildungsbeauftragter der AABF t_tig ist. In einem Zeitraum von zwei Jahren will die Landesregierung ehrgeizig auf der Grundlage des alevitischen Lehrplans Lehrkr_fte f_r diesen Unterricht fortbilden bzw. ausbilden. Die genaue Zahl der alevitischen Sch_ler m_sste jedoch im n_chsten Schuljahr durch die Schulstatistik erfasst werden. Auf der muslimischen Seite sind die Zahlen bekannt, jedoch gibt es bisher keinen islamischen Religionsunterricht nach Art. 7.3, wie es jetzt der alevitischen Gemeinde zugesprochen wurde. Es bleibt zu hoffen, dass die Landesregierung diesen elementaren Nachteil f_r die muslimische Gemeinde endlich aufzuheben bereit ist.