June 02, 2006

Islamists are counting on converts II

United Press International from Wednesday:
German women planned Iraq suicide attacks
BERLIN, May 31 (UPI) -- German authorities may have prevented suicide bombing attacks in Iraq and Pakistan by three German women, a German newspaper reported Wednesday.

Citing an unnamed high-ranking security official, Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel said authorities stopped three female Islam converts from travelling to Iraq and Pakistan, where they had planned suicide bomb attacks.

Two of the women hail from southern Germany and the third is from Berlin; all are between 20 and 40 years old and have converted to Islam. They adopted their radical views through contacts in Islamist Internet chat rooms and under the influence of their Islamist partners, the newspaper said.

At least one woman has talked of her plan to carry out a suicide bombing in a chat room. Two of the women had planned to take their small children along whom they may have included in the bombings.

The trio is under close security surveillance and one woman has been brought to a mental institution, however there has been no legal case brought against them.

The security official said one woman had links to the terrorist group Ansar al-Islam, which has carried out several terrorist attacks in Iraq.
One day later, Der Tagesspiegel reports:
47 Women Hired for Attacks?
Islamists called up for assassinations in Internet chatrooms / two thirds of those interested are from Germany
Von Frank Jansen

... According to information, up to 47 Muslim women were recruited via a Turkish language website. About two thirds of the women are from Germany, the others from Belgium and Denmark. Among the Islam converts are those three who are in the spotlight right now: Sonja B. from Berlin who presumably was planning to victimise herself and her child in Iraq, and two women from Bavaria. Communication took place in a chatroom, which was only accessible to insiders, in Turkish, German and English. This knowledge is based on the research of the Pan Amp AG from Hamburg, a company specialising in Intenet security, who passed information regarding this website on to US intelligence...

the Belgian Muriel Degauque, who served as a horrible example, was involved as well in the pro-suicide-assassination propaganda of the chatroom, which was closed down in the meantime. In autumn 2005 the 38-year-old travelled to Iraq and blew herself up at a road block in Baakuba.

The issue of German female suicide assassinators triggered off intensive research by several security authorities on Wednesday. The danger of inconspicous looking women girded with a bomb belt among the fans at the FIFA Worldcup is considered a nightmarish scenario. Additionally, Sonja B. was linked to the Kurdish-Iraqy terror group Ansar al Islam that performed countless assassinations in Iraq. The police found out that Sonja B. had been in touch with members of Ansar al Islam in the South of Germany and Austria.

According to unconfirmed information, there have been several mishaps during the investigations regarding the men behind the website. Pan Amp says that one of the backers is the Turk Alptekin G. The security services consider him a supporter of Ansar al Islam...

Apparently, the owners of the homepage are in close contact with Al Quaida as well. According to research by Pan Amp, a filmed message by Aiman al Sawahiri, Osama bin Laden's deputy, appeared on the website in autumn 2005. A picture from the film, which Der Tagesspiegel saw, is of amazingly good quality. The version that was broadcasted later by the Arab station Al Djazeera was of decidedly worse quality. This means, according to Pan Amp's research, that servers in Germany got original data from Al Quaida before it was passed on as video copy, for example to Al Djazeera. Should that be true, that would be evidence for a direct connection between Al Quaida and Germany. The security experts whom Der Tagesspiegel asked all declined to comment -- apart from, as one of them put it: "The whole thing is extremely hot."
I have no explanation why Germany went out of the investigator's focus after 9/11. Was it really of so little interest that the 9/11 perpetrators, among them Mohammed Atta, had lived for a considerable while in Germany and attended university there? Was it really peobable that all their co-conspirators and contacts, the entire sub-network they were bound to have, vanished with them after 9/11?

Translation by The Editrix.