It’s probably about time to update any Trivial Pursuit cards that may ask about Pakistan’s #1 export.
KOBLENZ, Germany — A German man of Pakistani heritage went on trial Monday on charges he raised money and recruited people for al-Qaida.
Aleem Nasir faces a possible 10 years in prison if convicted of membership in a terrorist organization.
Nasir, 46, declined to give a statement as his trial opened in a Koblenz state court, but he has previously denied the charges.
Prosecutor Ulrich Boeter told the court that Nasir is suspected of recruiting fighters for al-Qaida and distributing propaganda for the organization.
Prosecutors said he traveled regularly to Pakistan and that, “by summer 2004 at the latest,” he had agreed with al-Qaida leaders to recruit members and supporters in Germany.
Besides raising money for al-Qaida, he supplied equipment such as binoculars, night-vision goggles, laser range-finders, digital compasses and radios, prosecutors said.
You’ll wonder how you ever carried on an interior spiritual struggle without them.
Before his arrest in February at his home in the southwestern state of Rhineland-Palatinate, Nasir had been arrested in Pakistan in 2007.
Nasir has said that during his two months in prison there, he was interviewed by British, American and Pakistani secret services. In an interview after his imprisonment, he said he had been tortured.
Al-Qaeda Playbook, Lesson 18.
If statements were made under torture they are inadmissible in Germany, but the court has not yet ruled on whether the evidence from Pakistan can be used. Boeter told the court Monday that even without it, his case was strong.
“We are certain that it will end with a conviction,” he said.
A verdict is expected sometime in January.