Death in Waziristan
German Officials Believe Berlin Islamist Killed in Pakistan
Security authorities in Germany believe that another member of a group of German Islamist insurgents in Pakistan has been killed. Officials wonder whether the deaths will be a deterrent for copycats or whether it will inspire others to sign up for jihad.
A second homegrown Islamist from Germany appears to have been killed in fighting in Pakistan, SPIEGEL has reported. Danny R., a 21-year-old from Berlin, first traveled to Pakistan via Istanbul on Sept. 2, 2009 together with another Islamist. There, he joined a group of insurgents in the porous border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan that has been a hotbed of Taliban and terrorist activity.
German security officials have obtained information suggesting that the man was killed several days ago in Waziristan. The news comes just days after word of the
death of Eric Breininger, a German-born convert to Islam who had been wanted by German police on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist cell.
Danny R., who would have turned 22 on May 1, was born in Berlin but had Dutch citizenship. He renamed himself "Elias" after his conversion to Islam and belonged to a group of radical Muslims in Berlin who the authorities assume wanted to wage jihad, according to officials.
From Footballer to Jihadist
Danny R. had played for a while for the soccer team BFC Alemannia 1890 in the German capital before suddenly disappearing. Authorities are currently investigating whether Danny R. died at the end of April together with Breininger, who was from the western state of Saarland, and a man born in Salzgitter near Hanover named Ahmet M. According to statements made by associates of the men, four jihadists had been traveling in a car near the city of Mir Ali in Pakistan, when they were stopped and then killed during an exchange of gunfire with soldiers.
Only a few days later, Breininger's
alleged memoirs were posted on the Internet. In them, he describes his conversion and his transformation into a fervent Islamist. German security officials believe the work to be authentic and are now monitoring the impact of the latest developments on the Islamist scene in Germany. Will the deaths dissuade other German converts considering making the journey to Pakistan? Or will the war reports merely serve to attract other volunteers fascinated by the stories?
In Berlin alone last September, in addition to Danny R. and his wife, two other
young couples made their way to Waziristan. And in recent years, at least six militant Islamists from Germany are known to have died in the Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan.