• Germany's news in English
 

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!
Today's headlines
Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch
Locals enjoy the normally tranquil Seeburger See

Shocked fishermen hook a shell of a catch

A couple of friends who went for a quiet spot of fishing on Lake Seeburg in Lower Saxony on Monday got the fright of their life when they pulled up their net to find an artillery shell inside. READ  

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday
Leipzig's impressive skyline. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

10 facts to celebrate Leipzig's 1,000th birthday

This weekend the city of Leipzig is celebrating its 1,000th anniversary, since it was first mentioned by the chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg in 1015. The Local gives some insight into one of Germany's most vibrant cities. READ  

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7
File photo: DPA

Police tighten borders ahead of German G7

German authorities have reintroduced border controls two weeks before the leaders of the G7 economies gather in Elmau, southern Bavaria. READ  

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions
Photo: DPA file photo

North Germany feels pain of Russia sanctions

Schleswig Holstein's exports to Russia have dropped by 31 percent, state finance minister Reinhard Meyer said in comments reported by the Hamburger Abendblatt on Tuesday. READ  

German twins die fighting for Isis in Iraq
The twin brothers are both reported to have died in suicide attacks. Photo: Dabiq magazine

German twins die fighting for Isis in Iraq

German twins from Castrop-Rauxel in North Rhine-Westphalia have died fighting for the Islamist group Isis in Iraq, the militia's official magazine reported in its latest publication. READ  

Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink
Photo: DPA

Toilet theft at interior ministry causes a stink

Thieves have stolen toilet seats, taps and loo paper holders from the new interior ministry building in Berlin, making it difficult for mandarins to get comfortable in their new surroundings. READ  

Berlin jumps ahead on new rent control law
Blocks of flats in the Berlin district of Wedding. Photo: DPA

Berlin jumps ahead on new rent control law

Berlin is to be the only state in Germany to introduce rent controls immediately after the law allowing them comes into effect on June 1st. READ  

Ireland vote builds gay marriage momentum
Photo: DPA

Ireland vote builds gay marriage momentum

Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is feeling the pressure from opposition MPs, its own gay supporters and its Social Democratic Party (SPD) allies to look again at allowing gay marriage after Ireland's popular "yes" vote on Friday. READ  

Amazon 'paying local tax on sales in Germany'
Photo: Uli Deck/dpa

Amazon 'paying local tax on sales in Germany'

According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, online retailer Amazon has started paying tax on profits from its sales to German customers in Germany instead of in Luxembourg READ  

German woman, 65, has quadruplets
Photo: DPA

German woman, 65, has quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets after undergoing an artificial insemination procedure in Ukraine. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

6,662
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd