• Germany's news in English
 
app_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

“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.

Story continues below…

“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!
Today's headlines
No injuries after blast near Bavarian migrant centre
A sign at the Zirndorf migrant centre. Photo: DPA

A suitcase, likely packed with aerosol cans, has blown up near a migrant centre on the outskirts of Nuremberg, causing no injuries, police confirm.

Not your average student digs: 'amazing' plastic bubble
Photo: DPA

Could this wacky experiment be the future of student housing?

Police settle train violence over smelly feet
Not the feet in question. Photo: Caitlin Regan/Flickr

A fellow passenger's foot odour proved too much for one traveller to stomach.

How Berliners are responding to the Bavaria attacks
Photo: DPA

Is fear of terrorism creeping up on the capital?

Munich gunman was far-right racist: media reports
Photo: DPA

According to research by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the Munich gunman was proud to have been born on the same day as Hitler and hated Turks and Arabs.

Ansbach suicide attack
Ansbach bomber ‘influenced’ by third person: officials
Photo: DPA

Officials in Bavaria have said that the man who blew himself up in an apparent Islamist attack on Sunday was influenced by an as yet unknown person.

What is the link between the attacks in Germany last week?
Police on guard in Munich. Photo: DPA

And how likely are 'copycat' attacks?

Rights experts call for calm after string of violent attacks
Bavaria has called for soldiers to protect the German border. Photo: DPA

Human rights groups and legal experts are warning the government to react responsibly to the attacks and rampages which have taken place in Germany in recent days.

France church attacker had been arrested in Germany
Photo: DPA

A neighbour described the man as a "ticking time bomb".

Dutch join hunt for German terrorists-turned-outlaws
From left to right: Ernst-Volker Staub, Daniela Klette and Burkhard Garweg. Photo: DPA.

Dutch police on Tuesday told people to be on the lookout for three German far-left militants, at large for decades and suspected of a string of recent heists.

Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
DPA
Gallery
IN PICTURES: How Munich responded to shooting spree
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
National
Bavaria train attack: Were police right to shoot to kill?
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
Travel
Six soothing day trips to escape the bustle of Berlin
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
11,008
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd