Germany names creator of chilling Al Qaeda video

20th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Interior Ministry officials call the Moroccan-born man ‘a very serious Islamist.’

Berlin -- A presumed Al Qaeda militant in a video message warning that "time was running out" for Germany was identified Monday by the German Interior Ministry as Morocco-born Bekkay Harrach, officials said.

Harrach, born in 1977 and a former resident of Bonn, featured in a 30-minute message that surfaced on Saturday saying the Germans were "gullible and naive" if they thought they could "escape unscathed when they are the third occupation force in Afghanistan."

"Letting me blow myself up in the name of Allah has been my wish since 1993," he continued.

Interior Ministry State Secretary August Hanning said Monday that Harrach -- who called himself Abu Talha Al-Alamani -- was "a very serious Islamist."

That an Al Qaeda video should mention Germany so specifically is "a cause for concern," Hanning said, adding that security services are convinced of the video's authenticity.

Berlin also believes that Harrach has access to senior Al Qaeda leadership and has made contacts with militants in the German cities of Frankfurt, Brunswick and Ulm.

He is thought to have lived in a training camp on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border since 2007.

On Sunday, the German government said it was increasingly worried about terror attacks after a suicide bombing outside its Kabul embassy, which killed two Afghans and wounded US and German nationals.

Germany has about 3,300 soldiers in the relatively safe north of Afghanistan as part of NATO's 50,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), but Berlin decided last year to increase its contingent to 4,500 troops.

The German-speaking Harrach, who was armed with a bazooka and a machine-gun during various points of the video, declared that Germany could "never" win the struggle in Afghanistan and called on Berlin to give up this "unnecessary war."


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