• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3

German Taliban 'put off by dirt and violence'

The Local · 2 Nov 2012, 07:41

Published: 02 Nov 2012 07:41 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“It was difficult to admit that I had made a terrible mistake,” the man identified only as Thomas U. told a Berlin court.

Thomas U., a Hungarian-German, went with his wife to the Waziristan region of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan in 2009, the Tagesspiegel newspaper reported on Thursday.

There they were confronted with filthy conditions and regular violence.

When at the start of 2010 the Pakistani army attacked the region, he decided he wanted to go home. “It was a terrible experience,” he testified in a statement read out to the court.

But the leader of the German Taliban Mujahedin (DTM) group that he had joined promised that within a year Afghanistan would be conquered by the Taliban, and the couple stayed.

His is accused of being a member of the DTM from December 2009 until July 2010 – and of taking part in an attack on an American base in December 2009.

The court heard how he converted to Islam in 2008, having turned away from a previous involvement with far-right extremists in Germany. He stopped smoking marijuana and both he and his wife became radicalised, the Tagesspiegel reported.

The state prosecutor said he had been involved in preparing a serious crime – and to this end had travelled to Waziristan to be trained in using guns and explosives.

Once in Waziristan, he and other members of the DTM trained in using Kalashnikovs and rocket launchers, but he and his wife never settled into life in the camp.

When the Taliban failed to take over Afghanistan, and after three of his German friends were killed in a fire-fight with Pakistani soldiers, he decided he had had enough.

“The sight of their terribly mangled bodies moved me,” he said in the statement. “From then on I no longer wanted to take part in violence, I had been completely wrong.”

Not only that – he had caught hepatitis and his wife was pregnant. The macho attitudes and, he said, the drug consumption of the Taliban, were also getting on his nerves.

“Waziristan was not what I had been looking for,” he said.

He and his wife fled to Turkey in September 2010 - and were promptly arrested when they landed in Istanbul. After more than 20 months in investigative custody there, during which time they became parents to a son, the couple were extradited to Germany.

The last sentence of his statement to the court read, “I regret my decision to leave Germany and I also regret my crimes.”

The Local/DPA/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Your comments about this article

08:11 November 2, 2012 by wenddiver
Finally scientists discover somebody so messed up that Post Traumatic Sress Disorder might improve their tiny brain.

You left the Free World Western Democracies to go fight for a bunch of terrorists on drugs???

Hows that working for you?
09:55 November 2, 2012 by pepsionice
I'd actually allow the guy and his wife to walk freely, after making a simple 60-second video to air on every TV network at least three times a month. It'd lead off with....I was a naive German who screwed up and believed a bunch of guys who wanted me to kill Germans.
11:11 November 2, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Here's a guy that was inspired by the " the religion of peace " to wage war on the West. He needs to do considerable work for us against his former colleagues to earn his repatriation.
11:17 November 2, 2012 by raandy
He has a good message for any wana be"s, his life seems to be one of finding acceptance, first the skin heads then the Taliban, neither has worked out, he should have stayed home and kept smoking the herb.
16:57 November 2, 2012 by Al uk
Treason should still be a capital offence!
18:42 November 2, 2012 by StoutViking
Wow, this must have been hard... First giving the Ziggy salute with one hand, then learning to wipe ones ass with the other using a stone.

Shoulda gone Rastafarian...
19:56 November 2, 2012 by Landmine
@StoutViking

Ha ha ha, had a good laugh reading it....that was a great comment!
20:42 November 2, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Just wondering what he expected when he went out there. Garden tea parties and in debth discussions about idealoligy in the evenings over a game of cards? Seems like a very mixed up guy who may be in need of a psychological evaluation. Ideal for a job Deutsche Telekom call centre.
16:44 November 3, 2012 by George Palmer
Well, that just goes to show how many bloody stupid people are taken in by these Islamist lunatics. What about those that go over there and carry on 'the struggle?'

We are all in mortal danger. God help us from lunatics......
22:59 November 3, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Knowing das deutsche Volk, what really got to this guy was the lack of order!
Today's headlines
Nazi POW leaves estate to 'kind' Scottish village
The former German soldier stayed on to work in the Perthshire village for a time after the war. Photo: Andy Buchanan / AFP file picture

A former Nazi prisoner of war has left his entire estate in his will to a small village in Scotland to show his appreciation for the kindness he received there during his captivity.

US tries to block Chinese purchase of Aixtron
Photo: Oliver Berg / DPA / AFP

US President Barack Obama on Friday moved to block a Chinese company's purchase of German semiconductor equipment maker Aixtron by rejecting the inclusion of Aixtron's US business in the deal.

Merkel to chart 2017 election battle at party congress
Photo: Tobias Schwarz / AFP

After Donald Trump's shock victory, Francois Hollande's decision not to seek re-election and populism on the rise, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is next up on the campaign podium to set out her strategy for winning in 2017 polls.

Berlin vs Munich: whose newborn polar bear is cuter?
Berlin's (left) and Munich's (right) newborn bears. Photos: Tierpark Berlin / DPA

Both city zoos welcomed baby polar bears into the world in November, with Berlin zoo its releasing first photos on Friday. But which one is more adorable?

Learn how to speak German like a silver screen icon
Dirty Harry. Photo: DPA

We all agree that there is no other option than to learn irregular German verbs by rote. But when you want a bit of downtime, why not learn from your big screen heroes?

Stolen Dachau 'Work will set you free' gate found: police
The entrance to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Photo: DPA

An iron gate from the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany's Dachau with the slogan "Arbeit macht frei" ("Work will set you free") has been found two years after it was stolen, police said Friday.

Mystery flight path artist draws new message in sky
Photo: DPA

A pilot who likes to draw patterns in the sky using his flight path has returned with his greatest artwork yet.

Berlin 'abusing power' to stop Snowden coming to Germany
Edward Snowden. Photo: DPA

Opposition parties have accused the coalition government of overstepping its authority in its attempt to block American whistleblower Edward Snowden's trip to Germany.

Germany gains record number of Michelin-star restaurants
Head of the Michelin Guide, Michael Ellis (centre) with Michelin-star chefs at a presentation in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Germany had a slew of newly minted Michelin-star restaurants this year, and its top-rated establishments held onto their prestigious three stars.

At last: Germany passes major disabled rights reform
People in wheelchairs watch as the German parliament deliberates on the new disability rights reform. Photo: DPA.

For years people with disabilities in Germany have called for legislation to provide them with better benefits and opportunities in life and work. On Thursday the German parliament passed such a reform - but is it enough?

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd