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German Taliban 'put off by dirt and violence'
Photo: DPA

German Taliban 'put off by dirt and violence'

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

“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)

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!
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