The trajectory of Cuspert’s life is an interesting insight into the Leftist/Islamic supremacist alliance, showing how rootless Western Leftists can drift into jihad: he started out marching against the Persian Gulf War and ended up a full-blown jihadi. More on this story. “German Officials Alarmed by Ex-Rapper’s New Message: Jihad,” by Souad Mekhennet for the New York Times, August 31 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
BERLIN “” The man German security officials call a major security risk looks like a figure from a rap video, especially with the tattoos on his hands. The right one says “STR8,” and the left one “Thug.”
“This is from the days when I lived the life of an unbeliever,” said the man, Denis Mamadou Cuspert, as he clenched his fists and looked at the tattoos. “Allah will erase them from me one day.”
Mr. Cuspert, once a popular rapper in Germany, today is one of the best-known singers of nasheeds, or Islamic devotional music, in German. Security officials say, though, that he is an influential figure who incites violence and unrest through inflammatory videos and fiery speeches that praise terrorists and attack the West.
German authorities say people like him inspired the fatal shootings of two American airmen at the Frankfurt airport in March. The 21-year-old man accused of the killings, Arid Uka, whose trial began in Frankfurt on Wednesday, has said he opened fire on a busload of American service members after seeing a video that claimed to show Muslim women being raped by men in United States military uniforms. American officials have said the video “” which Mr. Cuspert acknowledged posting on his Facebook page, and which Mr. Uka copied “” was staged by militants.
The “video that claimed to show Muslim women being raped by men in United States military uniforms” was actually footage from the 2007 anti-Iraq war film Redacted, directed by Brian de Palma. So the mainstream media should be flooded with investigative reports about how Brian de Palma’s work incites to violence, and should be censored — right?
That won’t happen, of course. The New York Times and NBC News and all the rest of those who were quick to accuse me of complicity in murder because a madman in Norway who wanted to partner with jihadis also mentioned me in his ideologically incoherent “manifesto”
Mr. Uka said he was listening on his iPod to nasheeds calling for opposition against occupation forces and the West as he traveled to the airport just before the shootings. “It made me really angry,” Mr. Uka told the judge on Wednesday, referring to the songs” lyrics. During a tearful confession, he said that Islam had given him strength after a period of depression, but that he now realized that “I have damaged my faith.” […]
In an interview at a mosque here, Mr. Cuspert denied any direct connection to Mr. Uka, though he said he supported his actions. “The brother hasn’t killed civilians,” he said. “He has killed soldiers who had been on their way to kill Muslims.”
That is similar to the message in videos posted on YouTube and jihadi Web sites that have made Mr. Cuspert popular among Al Qaeda supporters in Europe and elsewhere. As evidence of his reach, a man who goes by the name Abu Bilal in the tribal areas in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region said of Mr. Cuspert: “The brother’s voice has reached the hearts of many people here, too.”
Mr. Cuspert gives speeches all over Germany, and young people are drawn to elements of his personal story, including his membership in Berlin street gangs “” he said he used to be a “real bad boy” “” and the notion that he finally found the “right way.”
Mr. Cuspert says that Shariah, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran, permits self-defense. “My duty is to use my voice for telling people the truth, and the truth is, jihad is a duty,” he said.
Security officials say that young people who are clicking on his videos do not realize that what they are listening to has been inspired by a radical jihadist theology based on the fundamentalist Salafi branch of Islam.
Security officials also cannot point to any comprehensive, Qur’an-based Islamic refutation of this “radical jihadist theology.” That moderate form of Islam remains the ever-elusive unicorn that everyone believes in but no one has actually ever seen.
At the end of June, Mr. Cuspert recorded a nasheed that praised Al Qaeda’s late leader, Osama bin Laden. “Your name flows in our blood,” he sings.
“I have sworn allegiance to Mullah Muhammad Omar, emir of the Taliban,” he said in the interview, smiling. “He is one of the greatest men.”
In his speeches, Mr. Cuspert has expressed outrage over United States drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, Yemen and Somalia, and has said that his biggest wish right now is the death of President Obama, who he said was an enemy of Islam…
On Aug. 18, Mr. Cuspert was tried here on charges of possessing illegal weapons. Prosecutors said that he held a gun in a video and that the police found rounds of ammunition during a search of his apartment. German security officials said they sought to jail Mr. Cuspert and stop his “video propaganda for jihad.” The trial judge convicted Mr. Cuspert, but spared him a prison sentence, ordering him to pay a fine of 1,800 euros, about $2,600.
Before he took his new name, Abou Maleeq, Mr. Cuspert had another life. He was born and reared in Berlin by his German mother. His father, who was from Ghana, left the family when Mr. Cuspert was a baby.
When conflicts increased at home with his stepfather, a former American Army soldier and strict disciplinarian, Mr. Cuspert was sent to a home for difficult children. After five years, he returned home. “I grew up with racism,” Mr. Cuspert said. “Though my mother is German, some teachers back then would call me “˜Negro” and treat all Muslim kids bad.”
His argument with American foreign policy grew in 1990 in the months leading up to the first Persian Gulf war, and he joined demonstrations in Berlin. “We marched, shouted and burned the American flag,” he said, smiling.
The 2003 invasion of Iraq became a source for new conflicts with his stepfather. He joined youth gangs, Mr. Cuspert said, because he was in search of an identity; he found it in the streets of Berlin with the children of Arab and Turkish immigrants.
He said that from an early age he trained himself in Thai boxing, tae kwon do and Brazilian jiujitsu. Social workers in Germany sent him to a special farm in Namibia that sought to rehabilitate juvenile delinquents.
In 1995, he found a new outlet for his anger: as the rapper Deso Dogg. He said, “My songs were about the time in prison, racism, war.”
His music career soared. He went on tour with rappers like DMX and worked on the soundtrack for a German film. But after surviving a car accident, he started questioning his lifestyle and turned to Islam for answers. In 2010, he ended his career as a rapper and turned his focus to fighting the United States and the West.
The message on his cellphone’s voice mail system makes no secret about his ultimate aim in life. “The martyrdom is the most beautiful,” he says in his recording. “Allah is the greatest.”