Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An overview of Islamist and Jihadi activities in selected European countries ( Part I ), by Andreas Banoutsos

The Islamist penetration of Europe has occurred over decades. As the European colonial powers such as Britain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands gradually withdrew from Asia, Africa and the Middle East after World War II, at the same time they opened their doors to large numbers of natives of these lands to gain citizenship in their homelands. These new, mostly Muslim immigrants from the former colonies had many among them indoctrinated to Islamism, either before their migration or recruited in Europe later.[1]

In Europe we can observe all kinds of Islamist activities. Violent Islamism is often referred as Jihadism or militant Islamism. According to Edwin Bakker senior research fellow at the Netherlands Institute Clingendael, until 9/11 the threat posed by Jihadi terrorism was, however, often underestimated, overlooked and misunderstood in Europe. Even after the 3/11 Madrid trains bombings, the threat continued to be regarded as an external one. Politicians, intelligence and security forces primarily focused on international Jihadi networks operating from outside Europe that were comparable to those responsible for 9/11. The subsequent killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh and the 7/7 London bombings confirmed that Jihadi terrorism also had a startling home-grown dimension.[2] Olivier Roy Director of Research at the French National Board for Scientific Research (CNRS) argues that “in Europe, the popular perception of Jihadi terrorism has long been one of commandos coming from the Middle East to attack the West in reaction to the conflicts that set aflame the region. Yet, an analysis of terrorists operating in the West shows clearly that most of them are long established in Western countries. They are either born in the West (Zacharias Moussaoui) or have come at young age (Daudi), or in some exceptional cases, came as students (Mohammed Atta). They do not have any particular social background that would explain their radicalisation because of poverty or exclusion.[3]
The Islamist forces concerning Europe are of three types: (a) Wahhabis and the Muslim Brotherhood, (b) Al-Qaeda and combat Salafi networks, (c) Iranian Intelligence and Hezbollah cells.[4] At this point we have to mention that “Iran’s post-revolutionary record has cemented its position in the State Department’s annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report as the most active state sponsor of terrorism.”[5] The extent of Iran’s continuing involvement in terrorism was exposed by The 9/11 Commission Report. The Commission found evidence of Iranian links to Al-Qaeda. “In late 1991 or 1992” the Commission reported, “discussions in Sudan between Al-Qaeda and Iranian operatives led to an informal agreement to cooperation providing support-even if only training-for actions carried out primarily against Israel and the United States.”[6]
By the mid-1990s, the Islamist penetration of Western Europe was already important. At the turn of the 21st century, governments and experts realized that while Europe was politically sleeping, the Islamist movements had infiltrated most of the countries of the old continent.[7] Furthermore, conversion to Islam among native Europeans is on the rise. Many converts live at peace within their native societies. A minority, however, adopts radical interpretations of Islam and can pose a security risk.[8] One of the declassified key judgments of the National Intelligence Estimate: Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States, released in April 2006 states that: “The jihadists regard Europe as an important venue for attacking Western interests. Extremist networks inside the extensive Muslim diasporas in Europe facilitate recruitment and staging for urban attacks as illustrated by the 2004 Madrid and 2005 London bombings.”[9]

      Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo

It was about in the early 1990s, when wars and political instability provided an opportunity for Al Qaeda and other Islamist terrorist groups to infiltrate in the Balkans. Although the fact that there is a large number of indigenous Muslims that are living in the Balkans, due to its poverty and instability the region has not attracted  a large number of Muslim immigrants who have actually been an important source of recruits for the Islamist extremists in the Western Europe. In advance, some opposition to Islamist terrorism has also been strong among the Bosnians, who are called Bosnian Muslims and the Albanians, the largest indigenous Muslim groups in the area of Balkans. These groups are generally considered to be more secular in the outlook than Muslims elsewhere. Most view themselves as a close part of Europe and they are also grateful for the perceived U.S. role in the aspect of defending them against Serbian aggression in the 1990s and for the continuing U.S. contribution to the security of their countries in our days.[10] A number of key figures associated with 9/11 plot, both planners and some of the hijackers themselves, were veterans of the Bosnian jihad. At the time of the most spectacular terrorist attacks in American history, scores of charities, ‘humanitarian’ organisations, and militant groups associated with international terrorist syndicates continued to flourish in Bosnia. Bosnia had become one of Al-Qaeda most important European assets. The radicalisation of Islam in Bosnia  due to the war has also bred a new generation of homegrown Jihadis-the so-called ‘white devils’ whose European characteristics make them precious for infiltrating Europe without being suspected. For Osama bin Laden and other terrorists masterminds, the strategic value of Bosnia lies in its ‘human resources’ capacity for becoming an exporter of jihad in the struggle to establish a global caliphate. According to terrorism expert Dr Darko Trifunovic of the University of Belgrade’s faculty of Security Studies, “the biggest achievement of Al-Qaeda in Bosnia was not military. It was ideological: when they created Samir-al Bosnari, the first Bosnian who died as Mujahideen, in Chechnya in 1994”. The first suicide bombing in Europe carried out the next year in Rijeka, Croatia, was also organized and prepared in Bosnia, maintains Trifunovic. Osama bin Laden himself had been given a Bosnian passport.[11] Also the mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre, radical Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, was cooperating closely with the Sudanese Third World Relief Association; bin Laden’s front charity for Bosnian jihad.[12] In September 1999, the world would learn that Osama bin Laden himself had been given a Bosnian passport, though the Sarajevo government had tried to cover it up.[13] It would take the cataclysmic events of September 11, 2001 and the subsequent crackdown on Islamic radicals in Bosnia, to reveal just how deeply the Bosnian jihad had been connected to international Islamist terrorism, in Europe, America, and elsewhere. Indeed, the 9/11 attacks and the terrorist cell that had spawned them in Hamburg, Germany, had numerous links to Bosnia. Mohammad Haydar Zammar, an Al-Qaeda operative suspected of having recruited Mohammad Atta, the ringleader of the 19 hijackers of 9/11, into the Hamburg cell, had fought there.[14] Nawaf al Hamzi and Khalid al-Mihdhar, two hijackers on American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, were also veterans of the Bosnian jihad, as was Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the plot’s ultimate mastermind.[15]
Albania’s sudden reintroduction in the international system after the fall of the communist regime in 1990, presented a great opportunity for numerous outside parties. Before Communist rule, 70% of Albanians were Muslim. Around a 55% of this subtotal was Sunnis. The possibility to benefit from the combined factors of geostrategic location, economic potential and religious appeal was not lost on Albania’s first non-Communist leader, President Sali Berisha. Following his election in March 1992, Berisha continued to develop strong ties with the United States and NATO. However, Albania’s interaction with Muslim countries and organisations, evident since 1990, increased dramatically as well. The second most powerful official in Albania, Bashkim Gazidede, was a ‘devout Muslim’ and he used his extensive capabilities as head of Albania’s national intelligence service, the State Information Service (SHIK), to promote the local aspirations of foreign Islamic groups, some of which had close ties to international Islamist terrorist groups. In 1992 Berisha made Albania the first European member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).[16]
In 1994, President Berisha ensured a strong Islamic presence in Albania’s nascent banking sector with the arrival of the Arab-Islamic Bank, ahead of other Western banks.[17] Osama bin Laden was the majority stockholder and founder of this bank.[18]The Arab-Albanian Islamic Bank oversaw the construction of hundreds of mosques, gave scholarships to Islamic universities abroad, and gave cash to poor Albanians –on the condition that females of the family accepted wearing the chador (veiled outer garment).[19] 
Furthermore the International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), which had openly thanked the Berisha regime for helping it, employed individuals such as Mohammad al-Zawahiri, the younger brother of future Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. Mohammad had been tasked by Bin Laden with finding ‘legitimate’ cover for Egyptian Islamic Jihad members inside the network of charities.[20] It would not be until after 9/11 that Albania’s links with international Islamist terrorism would be scrutinized more carefully. Although almost forgotten now, in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, U.S government sources disclosed a startling fact: that there was a definite connection between 9/11 plotters and Albania-based Islamist terrorists.[21]
According to Dr Darko Trifunovic “interest in the presence of radical Islam in Albania and its connection with the authorities was reawakened on April 11, 2007, with the broadcast of a show ‘Fiks Far’ on state television. The show publicized documents indicating that Abdul Latif Saleh a close associate of Osama Bin Laden was given Albanian citizenship in 1992 at the personal insistence of the then-President and present Prime Minister Sali Berisha. Saleh, a Jordanian, owned construction companies “Mak Albania” and “Cement Albania,” which were used to launder the money of Saudi businessman Yasin Qadi’s “Caravan” association in Tirana. In 2000, Saleh was deported from Albania on suspicion of Al-Qaeda connections, and his bank account in Tirana was frozen after an attempt to withdraw 2.4 million Euros.”[22]
Since NATO’s 1999 intervention the issue of Kosovo has been presented mainly along ethnic and national lines. This bitterly contested land, a historical province of Serbia but over 90 percent settled by Albanians, is claimed by both peoples, who have long argued for their inherent rights to ownership. The story of how foreign Islamists were able to fill in the Kosovar society starts with the 1999 war which involved the participation of mujahedin in the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). However, it was only after the war that the Islamists began to make inroads. The methods were the same as in Bosnia: through charities, banks, nongovernmental organisations, and religious societies. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, and other states began major construction of mosques, staffing them with radical preachers. At the same time, hundreds of young Albanians were sent to universities in the Islamic world, creating a new generation of trained and educated imams to spread the Wahhabi doctrine back in Kosovo.[23] Important details on Islamist subversion in Kosovo have emerged from the testimony of a former security officer for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Thomas Gambill, a former marine and one of the few willing to speak openly about the issue. As early as fall 1999, says Gambill, reliable Albanian sources were providing solid information that “the Saudis were increasing in strength through new NGOs. They were playing on nationalism, urging the poorer people to ‘run out the KFOR (Kosovo Force-NATO) like you did the Serbs’ They also handed out leaflets with anti-American slogans, which the pro-American Albanians ignored… the main actor, we were told, was the Saudi Red Crescent Society, which handed out food, clothing, supplies and religion, the same pattern as in Bosnia.”[24] “At the same time money for jihad continued to flow into  Kosovo, courtesy of the KLA’s previous Islamist sponsor in Britain, Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammad, the head of bin Laden’s International Islamic Front and founder of the Al- Muhajiroun brigade whose participation had been, at the very least, tolerated by British Intelligence during the 1998-1999 war.”[25] In April 2000, London’s Sunday Telegraph reported that the KLA’s “divinely inspired” struggle against the Serbs was being extended through “fundraising events…being held by mosques and internet groups” in Britain, subsidized partially by a wave of prescription fraud among poor British Muslims exploiting the National Health Service. Britain’s socialized health care allowed them to obtain expensive drugs almost for free, and then sell them “on the black market to raise funds for Jihad struggles including the one in Kosovo.”[26]


The Muslim population in Spain is one of the largest in Europe (in total numbers) and it numbers 1,021,000 people and constitutes 2.3% of the total population of the country.[27]
Islamists in Spain are stepping up calls for an ‘Andalusia Spring’ to reclaim ‘occupied’ Spain for Islam, in the same way they believe they have the right to reclaim all of present day Israel, which had once been under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Andalusia, a region in southern Spain, derives its name from Al-Andalus, the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Islamic conquerors  from 711 A.D to 1492.Many Muslims believe -- based on the Islamic precept that all territories once occupied by Muslims must forever remain under Muslim domination -- that all territories they lost during the Christian Reconquista of Spain still belong to them, and that they have every right to return and establish their rule there.[28]
According to a Madrid-based business newspaper Intereconomía, internet websites and online discussion forums frequented by Islamists and Jihadists have in recent months been brimming with calls for the Islamization of Spain. The newspaper reported that Islamists are accusing Spain of ‘erasing’ the country's Muslim history and are calling for Spain to be brought under Islamic Shariah law. They are also using internet discussion forums and chat rooms to promote Muslim historical revisionism and sentimentalism in an effort to recruit followers, especially among the young.[29] Moreover, a newly leaked secret report prepared by Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI), published by the Madrid-based El País newspaper on July 31, 2011, says the Spanish government is struggling to stop the flow of tens of millions of dollars to Islamic groups in Spain from Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and above all Saudi Arabia.[30] The CNI report states: “The financing is having negative consequences for multicultural coexistence in Spain, such as the emergence of parallel societies and ghettos, Islamic courts and police that operate outside of Spanish jurisprudence, removing girls from schools, forced marriages, etc.”[31] Furthermore, “the leaked CNI document says Kuwait is one of the worst offenders. Through the Society for the Revival of Islamic Heritage (RIHS), the Kuwaiti government has funded the construction of mosques in the Spanish municipalities of Reus and Torredembarra (Catalonia), from which Islamic preachers are ‘spreading a religious interpretation that opposes the integration of Muslim into Spanish society and promotes the separation and hate towards non-Muslim groups. In the medium term, the RIHS plans to open a delegation in Spain.’ In June 2008, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the RIHS for bankrolling Al Qaeda.”[32]  The CNI document illustrates clearly the fact that Islamists operating both inside and outside Spain desire to restore an Islamic state ruled by Shariah and they not necessarily use violent means in order to achieve this goal.
Spain is also considered to be an important transit point and a logistical base for various Islamist terrorist organisations operating in the area of Western Europe. It is true that the government of Spain and its citizens were also concerned that their country has been a principal target of Islamist extremism. Sheikh Safar al-Hawali, who was one of the most powerful Islamist preachers in Saudi Arabia, wrote a letter to the then President George W. Bush on October 15 2001-after the 9/11 attacks- in which he explained: “Imagine Mr. President, we still weep over Andalusia (today’s Spain) and remember what Ferdinand and Isabella did there to our religion, culture and honour! We are dreaming of regaining it.”[33] In March 11, 2004 three days before the Spanish national elections Islamist terrorists attacked the commuter train system in Madrid and left nearly 200 people dead.The official investigation held by the Spanish Judiciary determined the attacks were directed by an Al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell although no direct al-Qaeda participation (only "inspiration") has been established. Spanish Muslims who did not carry out the attacks but who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested. “We think that the Spanish government could not tolerate more than two, maximum three blows, after which it will have to withdraw as a result of popular pressure.”[34]
Lorenzo Vidino a European terrorism expert states that: “The Madrid bombings made it clear that Islamist terrorists are not only bloodthirsty criminals willing to kill innocent civilians but also savvy interpreters of Western politics. Choosing to strike right before the elections, the terrorists correctly predicted that Spanish voters would blame the unprecedented carnage on their government’s support of the USA led war in Iraq. The Aznar government’s insistence on blaming ETA without even looking at the evidence only played into the hands of the bombers, as many Spaniards perceived this behavior as an attempt to cover-up.”[35] Al-Qaeda scored a master coup: It played Jihadism in Spanish politics and won.[36]
“In the hours and days following the bombings in Madrid, contemporary society—its commentators, politicians, and voters—processed the crime mainly in the most contemporary way: as a tragedy and then as an election story. The ruling conservative party, which was leading narrowly in the polls, despite having made the unpopular move of sending a small contingent of troops to Iraq, seemed to prevaricate about the evidence for political advantage. It refused to recognize the signs of an Al Qaeda-style operation—the high level of coordination and sophistication of the attack, the claims of responsibility, the discovery of a van carrying detonators and a tape with verses of the Koran—and suggested, instead, that the bombings were the work of the Basque separatist group, ETA. The conservative Prime Minister, José María Aznar, telephoned El País and other Spanish news outlets to insist that it was ETA; his diplomats worked overtime to push a resolution through the UN Security Council blaming ETA; the interior minister, Ángel Acebes, denounced any speculation that Al- Qaeda might have been involved as “an attempt by malicious people to distort information.” And yet, as Keith B. Richburg, of the Washington Post, reported, the Spanish intelligence agency suspected al Qaeda from the beginning.”[37]
Ayman al-Zawahiri then Osama bin Laden’s deputy in the Al-Qaeda leadership in a tape released on 20 September 2007, referred to the global aspirations of the Jihadist movement: “O, our Muslim nation in the Maghreb (North Africa), zone for deployment for battle and jihad! The return of Andalusia to Muslim hands is a duty for the Islamic nation in general and for you in particular. You will not be able to achieve this except by purifying the Islamic Maghreb of the French and the Spanish who have once again returned, after your fathers and grandfathers had expelled them unsparingly in the way of Allah.”[38]
Historical and geopolitical grievances give Islamists reason to hate Spain; its support for the war in Iraq is a minor factor.  The Madrid strikes represented the first strike on European soil by Moroccans Islamists a network that had been underestimated and overlooked by European authorities.[39] According to the French antiterrorism magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguire “The Moroccans are much more important than we thought. They have significant financial and logistic cells. And they turn out to be more structured and organized than other networks.” Authorities in Spain cooperated closely with the U.S. so as to investigate and prosecute the Islamist terrorists and therefore to prevent from future attacks. They also worked hard so as to disrupt terrorist acts which possibly were directed against the US interests.[40]
Yet again, in May 2004 only two months after the Madrid bombings, the Spanish press reported that Al-Qaeda was planning a chemical attack against the U.S. naval base in Rota. Information about the attack plans allegedly came from an Algerian militant who had been extradited to France from Syria. The Algerian was said to have been a close associate of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.[41]


Germany’s Muslim community numbers 4,119,000 people and constitutes 5% of the total population.[42]
70% of the Muslim population of Germany is of Turkish origin. Turkish immigration to Germany began in the 1960s in response to a German labour shortage. While these workers were expected to leave Germany after their work was completed, half of them ended up staying in the country. At first the immigration was predominantly men, but they were eventually followed by their wives and families.[43]
Among the Muslim population of Germany live and operate many Islamists. Ibrahim el-Zayat, the head of an extremist Munich-based organisation called The Islamic Community of Germany, told a meeting of fellow Muslims that it is still premature to strike against the Jews and infidels in this country. However, at the lecture at a community Centre in Neukoeln, Berlin, he went on to assert: ‘But sooner or later we will strike against the enemies of Allah and Islam. We have to wait. Many Germans are converting to Islam, especially friends from the NPD [a neo-Nazi party].’
El-Zayat was born in 1968 in Marburg, Germany, to an Egyptian imam and a German mother. He owns a construction company and receives huge sums of money from the Saudis to build mosques in Germany and in other European countries. He is an aggressive Muslim fundamentalist and has connections to various Islamists and terrorist organisations across the world. He is currently being prosecuted in Germany for supporting radical organisations. El-Zayat is typical of most Islamist activists in Germany. In their schools and community Centres, Muslim organisations incite hatred and violence against Jews and Christians. In public, however, and before the media, they deny preaching violence. El-Zayat, Gharaballi and the majority of radical Islamist imams, and officials of Muslim organisations receive big honorariums from the Saudis. According to a study by Bielefeld University, over 30% of the Muslims living in Germany are radicalized. They reject the German Constitution and hope to establish the Shariah. [44]
Another illustrative example of the strong presence of Islamists in Germany is the German convert Pierre Vogel, a former professional boxer who converted to Salafi Islam in 2001.[45] “Vogel received his religious training in an Islamic school in Saudi Arabia. Through nationwide lecture tours and the creation of several websites, he has reached out to very religious young German Muslims, as well as to young non-Muslim Germans with identity problems.”[46] Adherents of Wahhabism like Pierre Vogel, alias Abu Hamza, call themselves "Salafi" in claiming they emulate the prominent adherents of early Islam.[47]
“Vogel's worldview embodies a rigid distinction between Islamic and "un-Islamic" behaviour. The strict division between "the bad" and "the good" appeals to some young Muslims, because they are promised a clear orientation in their everyday lives and identification with a like-minded community. Although Vogel rejects the use of violence in the cause of Islam, the German authorities see his Manichean outlook – the harsh separation of "bad" and "good" – as dangerous, because of its radicalizing effects on the very religious and the confused. The internet is his main stage. His sites have gained five million hits in one and a half years, a matter of which he is proud.”[48]
David Perl an expert from the Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs argues that “Germany has been increasingly forced to confront home-grown Islamist terrorism, the threat of radicalized converts to Islam, and the threat of non-integrated Muslim immigrants. In 2003, Iranian-backed Hezbollah was found to have identified Israeli, Jewish, and American facilities in Germany as terror targets. Which are the prominent radical Islamist groups operating in Germany?
The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), one of the most significant threats to German national security, is a Sunni terrorist organisation closely associated with al-Qaeda. IJU is well known to the German public due to frequent video threats published on the Internet and on television.
Hizb ut-Tahir al-Islami (HT) is a clandestine, radical Islamic political organisation that operates in 40 countries around the world including Germany, which was banned in 2003. Prior to its ban, HT operated mainly in college towns in Germany, and orchestrated a terrorist attack in 2006, when two terrorists placed two suitcases containing bombs (which failed to detonate) on regional trains in Germany.
The Islamic Centre in Hamburg (IZH), which was under the direct guidance of Iran's Ayatollah Khameini between 1978 and 1980, is considered to be the most important Hezbollah base in Germany and is the institution most, engaged in exporting the Islamic Revolution of Iran. It has branches in Berlin, Munich, Muenster, and Hanover, pointing to the ability of Hezbollah to launch attacks within Germany at any time in line with directives from the Iranian Supreme Leadership.
Millî Görüş, a radical Islamic group associated with Islamist parties in Turkey, is anti-Western, anti-Semitic, anti-Israeli, and opposes integration into Western society by the 2.5 million Turkish immigrants and their families in Germany. Yakup Akbay of the Fathi Mosque in Munich told Turkish television in 2007: ‘When Europe, as we hope, will be Islamized, the credit has to be given to the Turkish community. That's the reason for us doing the groundwork.’”[49]
In December 2000, German police arrested four Algerians, who, according to German verdicts, planned and prepared a bomb attack against revellers at the Christmas market outside Notre Dame Cathedral in Strasbourg. The Algerians were associated with people belonging to Al-Qaeda and the GSPC (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat) and one of them had been associated with the GIA (Armed Islamic Group of Algeria) network in Lille France, in the mid-1990s. They had received training in the Khalden training complex in Khowst, Afghanistan. The operation was not planned as a suicide mission; the terrorists made arrangements to escape to Algeria via London after the bomb attack. The plot to launch an attack in Strasbourg was the first attempt by more globally oriented Jihadis to execute a major attack on European soil.[50]
In June 2003, according to German press reports, police detected a German-based terrorist cell planning and preparing an attack against the French vacation islands of Reunion. According to police, the alleged terrorist cell was headed by a long-time Al-Qaeda associate Christian Ganczarski, a native German of Polish origin living in the German city of Duisburg. Reportedly, one of Ganczarski’s Moroccan accomplices made a trip to the islands in order to seek out potential targets.[51]
In Germany, the threat from Islamist terrorism remained high in 2006, according to an annual report published by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) the German Security Service.[52] This report mentioned that Islamist militants are increasingly setting their sights on Germany and view the country as an "operational area" and also that the Islamists regard Germany as a "crusader" and as an ally of the United States and Israel. Moreover, by the end of year 2007, there were about 30 nationwide active Islamist organisations.
“On September 4, 2007, the German security services arrested three men for plotting car bomb attacks in Germany targeting U.S. military base at Ramstein and pubs and nightclubs frequented by Americans. Two of the three were German-born converts to Islam.”[53]
German police boarded a Dutch airliner at Cologne-Bonn Airport on the morning of 26 September 2008 and arrested two men suspected of planning to take part in terrorist attacks. The two terrorist suspects – identified as 23 year-old ‘Abdirazak B’ (a Somali) and ‘Omar D’, a 24-year-old German citizen born in Somalia – were apparently on their way to Pakistan via Amsterdam, allegedly in order to receive training in one of the terrorist camps near the Pakistan-Afghan border. The pair, who are also believed to be linked to the ‘Islamic Jihad Union’, had apparently been under surveillance for several months by the German Intelligence Service (BND) and the Federal Crime Office (BKA). Authorities said they moved to arrest the two men after searching their apartments and finding notes indicating their intention to fight a ‘holy war’.[54]
The German Jihadists, as elsewhere, are not interested in fixing the socioeconomic conditions of their neighbourhoods, nor are they frustrated because of these conditions. They are inspired by the Islamist ideology, indoctrinated through its literature and they seek to ally themselves with the major terrorist networks.[55]

[1] Phares W.(2008) The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, New York: Palgrave MacMillan
[2] Bakker E. (2008) “ Jihadi Terrorists in Europe and Global Salafi Jihadis” in Coolsaet R.(ed.) Jihadi Terrorism and the Radicalisation Challenge in Europe, London: Ashgate
[3] Roy O. (2008) “Al-Qaeda: A True Global movement” in Coolsaet R.(ed.) Terrorism and the Radicalisation Challenge in Europe, London: Ashgate
[4] Phares W. (2008)  The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, New York: Palgrave MacMillan
[5] U.S Department of State. “ Patterns of Global Terrorism-2003” Aril 29,2004. Available from: [Accessed 2 December 2009]
[6] Clawson P. & Rubin M. (2005) Eternal Iran: Continuity and Chaos. New York: Palgrave MacMillan
[7]  Bawer, B. (2006) While Europe Slept: How radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, New York: Doubleday
[8] Uhlmann M.(2008) European Converts to Terrorism, Philadelphia: Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 15, No.3, Summer 2008
[9] Nomikos J. and Burweila A. (2009) Another Frontier to Fight: International Terrorism and Islamic Fundamentalism in North Africa. London: International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence(Routledge), 22:1, March 2009.
[10] Vidino L.(2006) Al-Qaeda in Europe. The new Battleground of International Jihad, New York: Prometheus Books
[11] Deliso, C. (2007) The Coming Balkan Caliphate. The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport Conn.: Praeger Security
[12] Pomfret,J.(1996)  Bosnian Officials involved in Arms Trade Tied to Radical States, Washington Post, September 22 1996.
[13] Bin Laden was granted Bosnian passport Agence France-Presse, September 24, 1999
[14] Deliso, C. (2007) The Coming Balkan Caliphate. The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport Conn.: Praeger Security
[15] The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, Chapter 5, Al-Qaeda aims at the American Homeland, available at: [Accessed 1 July 2009]
[16] Deliso, C. (2007) The Coming Balkan Caliphate. The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport Conn.: Praeger Security
[17] Halsell G.(1994) Albania and the Muslim World, The Washingthon Report on Middle East Affairs.
[18] Burr M. & Collins R. (2006) Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
[19] Gustincich F. (2005) From Lenin to Bin Laden, Gnosis: Online Italian Intelligence magazine (March 2005). Available at: [Accessed 2 September 2009]
[20] Deliso C. (2007) The Coming Balkan Caliphate. The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport Conn: Praeger Security
[21] Gertz B. ‘Hijackers connected to Albanian terrorist cell’, Washington Times, September 18, 2001
[23] Deliso C.(2007) The Coming Balkan Caliphate. The Threat of Radical Islam to Europe and the West, Westport Conn.: Praeger Security
[24] Ibid
[25] Ibid
[26] Bamber D. and  Hastings C.(2000) KLA  Raises Money in Britain for Arms, The Sunday Telegraph, April 23, 2000
[28] Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2012]
[29]  Ibid
[31] Ibid
[32] Ibid
[33] Sookhdeo P. (2004) Understanding Islamic Terrorism. McLean (USA): Isaac Publishing
[34] Rotella S. Terrorists at the Table; Militants in Europe Blend Political Sophistication and Crude Violence to Influence Events, as the Bombings in Madrid Show, Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2004
[35] VidinoL. (2006)  Al-Qaeda in Europe. The new Battleground of International Jihad. New York: Prometheus Books
[36] Phares W.(2008)  The Confrontation: Winning the War against Future Jihad, New York: Palgrave MacMillan

[39] Vidino L.(2006)  Al-Qaeda in Europe. The new Battleground of International Jihad. New York: Prometheus Books
[40] Ibid
[41] Nesser P.(2008) Chronology of Jihadism in Western Europe 1994-2007: Planned, Prepared and Executed Terrorist attacks, Studies in Conflict &Terrorism, Vol. 31, Issue 10, 2008
[43] Available at: [Accessed 3 February 2012]
[45] Available at: [Accessed 1 February 2012]
[46] Ibid
[47] Ibid
[48] Ibid
[49] Available at: [Accessed 5 June 2009]
[50] Nesser P.(2008) Chronology of Jihadism in Western Europe 1994-2007: Planned, Prepared and Executed Terrorist attacks, Studies in Conflict &Terrorism, Vol. 31, Issue 10, 2008
[51] Ibid
[52] Podhoretz, N.(2007) World War IV. The Long Struggle against Islamofascism, New York: Doubleday
[53] Uhlmann M.(2008) European Converts to Terrorism, Philadelphia: Middle East Quarterly, Vol. 15, No.3, Summer 2008
[54] Imig Hanna-Caroline, Germany caught in the terrorism debate. International Security Department, RUSI, 29 September 2008. Available at: [Accessed 28 November 2009]
[55] Ritzmann A.(2007) “The Fairytale of the Poor and Angry Terrorists”, American Institute for Contemporary German Studies Advisor