Al-Qaida gaining ground for new recruits in Germany

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19 Oct, 2009 Updated Mon 19 Oct 2009 14:44 CEST
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At least 30 new terrorist recruits have travelled to Pakistan from Germany for training since the beginning of the year, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

As new terrorist videos continue to crop up with threats against western nations – and specifically Germany for not removing its troops from NATO operations in Afghanistan – a German intelligence official told the paper that the government is concerned about possible attacks within Europe. Germany has some 4,400 troops serving in northern Afghanistan, the third largest contingent of international forces in the country.

Meanwhile security sources told the paper that about 10 people have returned to Germany from terrorist camps this year.

"We think this is sufficient to show how serious the threat is," a senior German counter-terrorism official told the paper anonymously.

The German terrorist recruits are part of what the paper said was a larger effort to lure Western insurgents – including Americans, French and Belgians – to al-Qaida military training camps. The recent video threats included German-speaking al-Qaida members as well as an American.

"They're doing such good business that they are dropping a new video every week or so," Ronald Sandee, a former Dutch military intelligence officer who serves as research director of the NEFA Foundation, a US group that monitors terrorist networks, told the paper.

Al-Qaida has well-developed recruiting networks across Europe, several of which have been discovered within Germany, officials told the paper.

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2009/10/19 14:44

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