Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Islamists Try to Recruit Suicide Attackers from German Mental Hospitals

A deranged Syrian in a Bavarian psychiatric hospital is befriended by a pious Turk from a charity organization and offered a guardianship that will provide him with intensive care and the blessings of God. What is wrong with this picture? Quite a bit, according to the Bavarian Land (State) Office for the Protection of the Constitution (LfV). The LfV reports that a dangerous group of Islamist recruiters is recruiting mentally unstable people to participate in terrorist activities. Their preferred targets are suicidal Muslim patients, receiving treatment following a suicide attempt.

The report of these activities appeared in the December 6 issue of the German news magazine Focus, in an article entitled "Attackers from the hospital?" by J. Hufelschulte and C. Sturm (Dateline: Munich, p. 49, original in German and translated into English by BBC Monitoring International Reports on December 7, 2004).

The group of recruiters are said to be activists of Jamaat al-Tabligh, a Muslim organization based in Pakistan that poses as a missionary group but that helps al-Qaeda terrorists secure travel arrangements (see Neil A. Lewis, "Hearings, yes, but not in court," New York Times).

One foothold of the group's presence in Germany is the Abu-Baqr Mosque in Bremen. One of the young converts in Bremen kidnapped a bus with 16 passengers in April 2003. Another member of the so-called "Taleban of Bremen" was captured and interned in Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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|| headland, 12:01 AM

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