Sunday, March 5, 2017

Cases of homegrown Islamist radicalization processes, by Ioannis Michaletos

Notable cases of homegrown Islamist radicalization processes, which ended to terrorist action of international nature.

-Cases in Germany

An example is the attack against a bus with American soldiers in Frankfurt in 2011 by an Albanian living in Germany. He participated in radical forums and without any other assistance he decided to kill Americans for alleged war atrocities in Afghanistan. The Albanian "Arid Ouka", was often a visitor and participant in internet forums directed by German converts to Islam.

Below an image of such a forum

Also  Deutche Welle in a radio program made a research and concluded that in Germany since the attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London 2005, a significant number of conversions and recruitment to radical Islam of Germans has been noted and that was made possible through the use of Turkish and Kurdish minorities in Germany that lived in the same neighborhoods with poor and excluded socially Germans. The promises to social solidarity to them, along with even financial assistance and the image that radical Islam is “strong” proved as a strong incentive for Germans to convert, radicalize therefater and then join these organizations.

A typical example is the person - photo below

His name is "Eric Braininger" and was recruited around 2005 by radical Islamists and converted to Islam. Then he travelled to Afghanistan through Uzebekistan with the help of Turks to fight against NATO forces. He died there in battles in 2010.

Eric Breininger was also known as "Abdul Ghaffar Al-Almani".
German police were seeking the Islamic convert on suspicion of membership in the "Sauerland Cell", a group of German radicals accused of plotting to bomb foreign targets in Germany. Germans and militants from other European countries are said to have established a complete “European Village” in South Waziristan, adding a new aspect to the war on terror in the region.
They are associated with "Tahir Yuldashev’s" Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU).

The German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) had a list of about 100 citizens who left for Afghanistan and Pakistan or attempted to join militants, according to past news reports. The list includes former Berlin resident Michael W, his Eritrean wife and her minor daughter. Also on the list is a 19-year-old Berliner, Omar H, who disappeared with his girlfriend in January 2009.

The campaign of recruiting foreigners into the ranks of militants is being led by Abu Adam, a 24-year-old German, and Abu Ibrahim. Adam, whose real name is "Mounir Chouka", received weapons training in the German army  and later spent three years training at the Federal Office of Statistics. He left his country in 2007
In a number of videos posted on YouTube, Abu Adam and Abu Ibrahim urge viewers to take up arms for Islam.

In 2005 1,000 Germans were converted to Islam and in 2006 4,000, whilst from 2005-2011 the total number reached 18,000. Around 10% are radicalized and the vast majority of them have very strong faith because every new follower of every religion is always anxious to show himself as better Muslim, so as to probe his newfounded loyalty and forge ties witht he group.

Saudi Arabia’s policy plays a great role in this. More than 700 mosques in Europe have been established with capital from there, including many research centers, such as the center for Islamic studies in Oxford, as well as, the one in London, Edinburg, Geneva, Rome and Madrid. Through this scientific centers, recruitment take place amongst educated Europeans, albeit in a rather intellectual form

Another notable German convert-terrorist is "Christian Ganczarski"  who used also the Aliases: Abu Ibrahim; Christian Manfred Ganczarski.

He is a German citizen of Polish ancestry who converted to Islam; He is one of the individuals who has been described as the head of al Qaeda in Europe; Ganczarski was captured when a plane he was travelling on landed in France;Ganczarski gave the green light to the Tunisian suicide bomber who carried out the attack. On Friday 02/06/2009 in Paris, the French court convicted Christian Ganczarski in being involved in organizing the Jerba Attack in Tunisia. Christian Ganczarski was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.

Another person is "Fritz Gelowicz" known also with Aliases: Abdullah Gelowicz; Fritz Martin Abdullah Gelowicz; Fritz Martin Abdullah Gelowitz; Benzl; Robert Konars; Markus Gebert.

He was the Ringleader of Ramstein bombing group arrested in Germany in 2007.Fritz Gelowicz, Martin Schneider, and Adem Yilmaz were arrested, because they plotted attacks against places frequented by Americans. Gelowicz, Schneider and Yilmaz were arrested in September 2007 for allegedly plotting attacks against places frequented by Americans in Germany and possibly against American military installations, including the Ramstein Air Base.The charges were filed against for alleged membership in a terrorist organization, named “German Islamic Jihad Union cell”. He was released from costudy in mid-2016. 


In the image below a  Italian Muslim, named “Arafat Mahmoud”, self-appointed Imam, leading a prayer in a prison in Bollate, a town near Milano. Italy is now facing similar issues regarding radicalization via the correction facility system, as France and UK have xperienced for decades.  

Also the Italian Police has noted the recruitment process that take place through internet forums such as “Shumukh”, a particular password-protected sire which played significant role also in the Syrian war targeting EU nationals for radicalization and recruitment. 

The majority of the converts in Italy are in Milano where there are many active groups of Pakistani and Northern African Islamists that have special target of doing such as role, so as to infiltrate totally the local societies. The most important place where radicalization and recruitment takes place is the Italian prison system, especially in Lombardy.


In UK, according to the Swansea University research there were 60,000 converted British in 2001 and 110,000 in 2011, with 62% of them women with an average age of 27 years.

A typical case of British woman that became converted and radicalized is "Samantha Lewthwaite"

Samantha Lewthwaite, born in 1984, was married to Jermaine Lindsay, a British suicide bomber who blew up a train at London’s King’s Cross station on July 7, 2005. Lewthwaite, who by that time had two children by Lindsay, disappeared soon after the so-called 7/7 bombings, and allegedly reappeared in England in 2009, to give birth to her third child, reportedly by a Moroccan man. Today she is considered an important organizer of al-Shabaab, (The Party of Youth), which used to be the youth wing of Somalia’s Islamic Courts Union (ICU). The Sunni-Muslim ICU ruled most of Somalia until the 2006 US-supported invasion of the country by Ethiopia. 

Ever since that time, al-Shabaab has become one of Africa’s most highly organized militant groups, relying on hundreds of Westerners who have flocked to Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, and elsewhere, to join a peculiar form of jihad (holy war) inspired largely by al-Qaeda. According to reports from the UK, Lewthwaite is one of at least three British planners involved in setting up al-Shabaab’s operations in Kenya, Somalia, and elsewhere. She first entered Kenya several years ago, using a forged passport belonging to a South African identity theft victim called Natalie Faye Webb. 

In February of 2011, she is believed to have entered Kenya again, on foot, via Tanzania. Her travels are thought to be connected with her fundraising and other organizing activities on behalf of al-Shabaab, which appear to include —aside from financing— procuring weapons and training recruits. Not long ago, Kenyan police said a white woman matching Lewthwaite’s description managed to escape during a raid at the house of a suspected Islamist militant in Kenyan capital Nairobi. Police sources said the woman escaped with a bag containing explosives mechanism parts, a large amount of cash in US dollars, and a laptop, which was later discovered with is hard drive missing. There were reports in previous years in African media that the American Central Intelligence Agency officers have now joined “a large team of counter-terrorism detectives” from England’s Metropolitan Police, who are working on the ground in Kenya trying to trace Lewthwaite.

Another UK example is "Dhiren Barot" known also with Aliases Bilal; Abu Musa al-Hindi; Abu Eissa al-Hindi; Issa al-Britani;

Date of birth20.12.1971.

Barot converted to Islam at age 20 in the UK. He attended the Kingsbury High School in north London. He worked for a living on a regular basis only during 1991 to 1995 as an airline ticket and reservations agent for Air Malta, in Piccadilly, central London. It is unclear how he supported himself at other times. Barot travelled to Pakistan in 1995. He took part in militant campaigns against Indian forces in Kashmir. Using the pseudonym Esa Al Hindi, he wrote a book, The Army of Madinah in Kashmir, in 1999, discussing his experience and describing ways to kill Indian soldiers. The book was commissioned and published by Maktabah al-Ansar, a bookstore co-owned by Moazzam Begg. In the late 1990s and early 2000, he served as an agent for al-Qaeda. Barot is credited with authoring a 39-page memo that advocated the use of simple explosives composed of materials available from local pharmacies and hardware stores. The memo was created for distribution among al-Qaeda operatives and was discovered in 2004 on a laptop in Pakistan. He reportedly learned the tactics from observations at al-Qaeda training camps. 

He arrived in USA in August 2000 on student visa along with Nadeem Tarmohamed; however, he never attended any college in the USA. It was during this time that Barot began to do extensive reconnaissance of American targets for Al-Qaeda. In a Pakistan arrest of Al-Qaeda operatives agents found some 51 compact discs, dating from 2001, of reports and targeting research allegedly compiled by Barot. On April 8, 2001 Barot returned to the UK. and On 7 November 2006, Barot was sentenced to life imprisonment, after pleading guilty to conspiracy to murder; it was recommended that he serve a minimum of 40 years

Another case is James McLintock also known as Yaqub Mohammed

He is a Scottish man who was arrested at the end of February 2009, reportedly on suspicion of links to al Qaida. He has now been released without charge. He has now been reunited with his wife and children in Pakistan. Mr McLintock, 46 years old , was previously arrested in Afghanistan in December 2001 and was repatriated to Britain. He is reported to have converted to Islam in his 20s, changed his name to Yaqub Mohammed and married a Pakistani woman.
In April 2016, he was added in US treasury department list of global terrorists for supporting Al Qaeda entities. 

The French case

France faces explosive issues with numerous conversions that the French state does not really want to acknowledge, or provide statistics and research.

A fine example is the case of Lionel Dumond

Lionel Dumont was born in 29.01.1971.  to a Christian French family in an industrial town in the North of France. Lionel Dumont began, as a teenager, to attend a local mosque before drafted to the French Army in 1989. He served in Somalia where he saw vast suffering by Muslims. When he returned to France in 1990 Lionel Dumont converted to Islam and showed up in Bosnia as a Mujahedeen in late 1992. Intelligence reports showed that Dumont killed a police officer during a robbery in Bosnia and was sentenced to 20 years’ jail in a Sarajevo prison before he escaped in 1994 after serving only three years.
He subsequently traveled to Malaysia multiple times, before entering Japan in 2002, under an assumed name (Tinet Gerald Camille Armand). While in Malaysia, he spent time at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM), avoiding suspicion of the local authorities. It is suspected that Dumont arrived in Japan with the intent of establishing a terrorist network, with the aid of Hamid Aich, a fellow ex-mujahedin from Bosnia, who was then in Ireland.

Following their practice in Bosnia, mujahedin have married Japanese women, so as to legalize their Japanese residency. Aich's Japanese wife now wears a full chador, and works for the "humanitarian" organization Mercy International Relief Agency in Ireland. By remarkable coincidence, a few years ago the agency was visited by Saudi millionaire "Yassin al-Qadi", suspected of developing a network of banks in Bosnia dedicated to financing Islamic militants. Al-Qadi was implicated in scandals involving the Vakufska and Depozitna banks, which alongside with 19 other banks in Bosnia finance credit and debit card company BamCard. BamCard's management was by and large educated in Malaysia -- at IIUM.

Dumont and other members of this group who operated in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Japan belong to a branch of Al-Qaeda known as Taqfir Wa'al Hijra, which once operated it Italy. There are suspicions it is still active on Italian soil.

After arriving to Japan, Dumont was hired as a driver by Himu Islam Mohamed. He was also a driver in Bosnia, following the end of the war and his career as a mujahedin. How can a French convert to Islam, who speaks several languages and has been a terrorist instructor, be a humble driver? The job, of course, is a cover -- as a driver, he can travel freely while maintaining a low profile. When he was arrested in Germany, large sums of money were found in his Japanese bank accounts.

Of the so-called "humanitarian organizations," the largest and most dangerous one is Tabligh-i-Jamaat, which operates worldwide. This organization's main goal is to convert to Islam as many citizens of the host country as possible. Also, its hidden mission is to radicalize the existing Muslims. Organizations like this cannot be directly accused of terrorism, even though individual members can and have been members of various Al-Qaeda subgroups. However, this and other similar organizations share the same goal which is the creation of unified Ummah, a global Islamic state A.K.A. as the Khaliphate. One particular danger these organizations represent is the motivation of radical groups through militant Islamic ideology of intolerance and hatred of "infidels." By spreading Islam and making the existing Muslims more militant, organizations like this create fertile soil for extremist operatives and their allies.

Australian case of converted

"Jack Terrence Thomas", born May 19, 1973, in Australia. Also he is known as Abou Khair Islan and “Jihad Thomas”, former passport number 1856274. Took the name Jihad upon converting to Islam in 1999, and moved to Pakistan with wife and child in 2001. Believed to be a Melbourne taxi driver, Jack Terrence Thomas was recruited by al-Qaida, and returned to Australia to establish a network of “sleepers” and choose possible terrorist targets.  Seen at terrorist training camps in Pakistan (Pakistani military and police sources say Thomas was trained in camps in northwest Pakistan and Afghanistan) and arrested with a fraudulent passport during a police action