• Germany edition
 
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
Updated: 02 Nov 2012 07:41 GMT+01:00

A German man who ran away to join the Taliban told a court this week how he had a horrible time in the Pakistani borderlands and was happy to be back home – even though he now faces a prison term.

“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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

A major producer of ethically certified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the regulator said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

Op-Ed
Why Germany should stop arming the world
Saudi Arabia wants to buy 800 German Leopard 2 tanks. Photo: DPA

Why Germany should stop arming the world

Germany's weapons industry is booming, and even the vice chancellor's attempt to stop selling tanks to the Saudis is a minor concession for the world's third biggest arms exporter. But the trade is destabilizing security. READ () »

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin

An exhibition opened in Berlin last week of rare colour photos from World War I. Haunting images of soldiers in trenches take centre stage in the collection. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,109
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd