April 19th, 2010
04:09 PM ET

Security Brief: Video shows Germans allegedly training with jihadists

A new video has surfaced of a group of Germans apparently training with jihadist groups in the Afghan-Pakistan border area. It’s the latest evidence  of young European Muslim converts joining the Taliban and al Qaeda.

The half-hour video is produced by Elif Medya, which produces such propaganda films several times a year. It is titled “In Namen Allahs," which means "In the name of Allah."

The video features a variety of training and firing exercises involving a group that calls itself Deutsche Taliban Mujahideen. It also includes clips of speeches by German Chancellor Angela Merkel covered by images of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and a commentary that says: “The German occupiers have set their signature under many bloody massacres that were committed in Afghanistan.” Germany has more than 4,000 troops in Afghanistan.

In the video, several members of the group fire rifles, machine guns and RPGs  in a barren, mountainous setting. Others prepare mortar shells. Some have their faces blurred; others are clearly Caucasian. Several carry Arabic noms de guerre (war names). One man in the video appears to be American. He uses the name Sayfullah Al-Amriki, which means Sayfullah the American, and he speaks in English, saying “I have met many people from all around the world, from America, from England, from Germany, from Uzbekistan from Tajikistan … coming for the sake of Allah.” His face is pixelated.

Another man, whose name is given as Hamza al-Majaari, says in German that “with Allah’s permission, we fired six rockets in the course of the day at the American camp. That way we – inshallah – considerably disturbed their pre-Christmas mood.” He says he is speaking on Christmas Day.

“And we will continue to fight … until all occupiers and disturbers of the peace leave Afghanistan and other Islamic countries,” he adds.

The release of the video follows previous reports of young foreigners arriving in Pakistan’s Tribal Territories along the Afghan border.

CNN Terrorism Analyst Paul Cruickshank has followed the influx. In a recent paper, “The Militant Pipeline,” for the New America Foundation, he traces several plots involving German citizens associated with al Qaeda.

Four men recently convicted in Germany of plotting to attack U.S. targets trained with al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) in north Waziristan. One of them, Adem Yilmaz, admitted to seeking out recruits in Germany and recommending them for membership in the IJU.

Read Cruickshank's paper (PDF)

German magazine Der Spiegel, which has published detailed investigations into the pipeline of Germans attracted to jihad, wrote last week that federal German investigators had almost 100 names on a list of those who had left for Afghanistan and Pakistan – or tried to.

One married couple who disappeared from Berlin last year had auctioned off all their belongings on eBay to raise funds for their travel. The husband is thought to have been featured in a recent video made by Deutsche Taliban Mujahideen. Two young German males were arrested in Pakistan in March 2009 and deported to Germany after trying to reach the tribal areas to join jihadist groups, according to Der Spiegel.

Cruickshank says videos produced by some jihadist groups – such as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan – have attracted young Germans of Turkish origin with their slick production and romanticized portrayal of life in the mountains. In reality, that life  has become much harsher and more perilous since the Pakistani army offensive in south Waziristan last year and the vastly expanded U.S. drone campaign along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

- CNN's Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.

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  1. dorenne

    No wonder the entire world thinks you radical muslims are equated with animals.... not even smart animals... this is American comedy and if you don't like it go back to your neanderthal life. Yea... you don't deserve to be here, ragheads... this is America and if you don't like it,,, go away.... Your cry seems to be the same all the time;;; yeah, hill for allah... you an't even worth any American's time... Go back to your camel lands and stay there. you don't deserve any of the rights, the laws, the American flag. Go away and stay away....go start some earchquakes or something

    April 20, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |