My latest for Jamestown, looking at Al Qaeda’s new focus on Germany – am also shopping some other piece around about this, but no bites yet. Interesting topic, but hard to know what exactly is going to happen – is this all going to lead to something? Or is it simply hot air? I am also very interested in the parallels between the situation in Germany and that in the UK – happy to expand if anyone is interested.
Afghanistan Deployment puts Germany in al-Qaeda’s Crosshairs
Speaking in accented but fluent German, Abu Talha al-Alamani made al-Qaeda’s most direct threat to the German nation yet in a recent video, saying that Germans were “naive and gullible” if they thought they could “emerge unscathed” from being the third-largest troop provider in the NATO alliance in Afghanistan (al-Faloja.info, January 19). The video, released by al-Qaeda’s al-Sahab media wing and entitled “Das Rettungspaket Fuer Deutschland” (The Rescue Package for Germany), first emerged on jihadi websites on January 17 (though it is dated October 2008). The video showed a turbaned individual identified as Abu Talha al-Alamani (Abu Talha the German) brandishing weapons in a rocky environment, before switching to a direct picture of him preaching to the camera. In the half-hour video, Abu Talha declares that it has been his “wish to blow myself up for Allah since 1993,” and provides a nuanced overview of the German political environment highlighting the nation’s involvement in Afghanistan.  Germany currently provides over 3,300 troops to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has agreed to increase the size of its deployment to 4,500 troops.