A Tunisian man who was trained by Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan has been charged in Germany with trying to form a group there that would attack American and Jewish targets. Where did he go to find recruits for this endeavor? You guessed it — to a mosque:
The prosecutors’ office said the 33-year-old man, named only as Ihsan G., had tried to recruit fellow-militants at a Berlin mosque to set off a series of bombs around the time of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq last March.
And why did Ihsan want to attack Americans and Jews? Right again:
“Through the killing or wounding of a large number of people, the Western world was to be humiliated and the Muslim world and its values defended,” the office said in a statement.
It said the planned locations were unknown, but the aim was to strike U.S. and Israeli targets “in pursuit of Islamic fundamentalist ideas.”
Why did he go to a mosque to do this? Didn’t he realize that the vast majority of the people in the mosque would reject his equation of Islam and violence, and throw shoes at him in indignation?
Evidently no one did:
According to the prosecutors’ statement, Ihsan G. attended an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in 2001 and received ideological and military training, including in how to produce explosives.
It said he re-entered Germany in January 2003 on false papers, traveling via South Africa and Belgium, and set about recruiting like-minded radicals at a Berlin mosque.
“Four of those approached showed themselves inclined to form a group with the accused and commit future bomb attacks; others promised their support,” the statement said. . . .
According to the charges, the Tunisian began training the recruits, initially on the premises of the mosque. He allegedly sought chemicals to make bombs and bought mobile phones and watches with alarms to serve as timers.
The statement said he had planned several explosions to coincide with a demonstration against the Iraq war, but was arrested on March 20 last year — the day U.S.-led forces invaded Iraq.