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Thursday, 22 April 2010

Germany: video shows German jihadists in Afghanistan

Taliban zerstören HeiligengrabImage by olaf.kellerhoff via Flickr
A few days ago, a new video emerged showing the fighters taking part in target practice at a training camp in Afghanistan. In the 31-minute-long video, the five German-speaking jihadists claimed responsibility for two attacks on American military installations in Afghanistan.
They call themselves the German Taliban Mujahideen and are a relatively new group, according to Yassin Musharbash, an editor at German news portal Spiegel Online and an expert on Islamic terrorism.
“There seems to be between six and 10 German-speaking fighters who are in Afghanistan, apparently acting under the command of the Afghan Taliban,” he said. They appear to have made their first online appearance in the fall.
According to Musharbash's assessment, the German Taliban Mujahideen (DTM) formed from the scattered remnants of the Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), a relatively small group that had been active in Afghanistan for years. The four young men of the so-called "Sauerland" group in Germany also belonged to the IJU. They were sentenced to long prison terms in March for preparing planned terrorist attacks in Germany.
“It's my impression that the IJU has been mostly destroyed,” said Musharbash. Only a few sporadic traces remain of the group on the Internet. The marauding foreign fighters of the IJU apparently slipped under the wing of the Afghan Taliban. There, the German jihadists were able to form their own brigade, the DTM.
Musharbash speculated that their involvement in the attacks on the American and Afghan bases, referenced in the video, could have been a sort of internship for the men.
“The Afghan Taliban seem to have taken them along on two attacks - that's what it looks like to me,” he said. “And for their part, the German jihadists made a big propaganda video for the German-speaking public, to show that they're not just sitting around but actually taking part."
Germany has warned in the past about Jihadi families.

Background on the Sauerland cell: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Other terrorist linked with them is German Taliban convert to Islam, Eric Breininger.

Related: The Third Generation.
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