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Interview: A jihadist recruiter on methods to enlist Europeans - Daily News Egypt

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Interview: A jihadist recruiter on methods to enlist Europeans

In this interview in Germany, researcher Hala Kindelberger speaks to a recruiter of European Union citizens to prominent militant Islamist groups. The interview delves into the recruiter’s methods, as well as his justifications for his work.


The overwhelming fear of Islamist terror organisations in European Union countries has become evident day to day, in articles such as the recent article in the major German newspaper Die Zeit, which anticipates that by 2016, the fanatical Islamic world with its armed movements will declare “total war” on the West. In this article by Alfred Hackensberger, he says that for 15 years Jihadist movements had been preparing a seven-step plan for world dominance and predicted that by 2020, their plan will have paid off.

Cartoon jihadist (1)It is of note that such rhetoric is not new. However, it is now met with attentive ears and impressionable, frightened hearts. The crux of the matter is that such articles exist in a wider network of alarmist rhetoric that suggests that fear of extremists and terrorists is not only directed at Middle Easterners but also at new converts to Islam among Europeans, who will strive for the victory of Islam and its penetration into their countries.

This conforms with the theories and analysis of experts, including Klaus Geiger. He highlights that engineers and doctors are at higher risk of radicalisation and that poverty, lack of resources, and distance from the capital are not the main bases for Islamisation and extremism as some believe.This is positive in the sense that it prevents low-income citizens and residentfrom becoming suspects in their community. However, the danger is that it widens the scope of suspicion in a community to anyone who expresses interest in Islam or socialises with Muslims.

Security authorities confirm that many people from Germany, England, and Belgium recently converted to Islam and that they are all educated. Psychologist Ahmad Mansur asserts that these Europeans are looking for a cause and position of distinction after having felt invisible and inferior in their communities. They look for victims like themselves and their victory becomes linked to the victory of this cause, and with it comes their hijacked social status.

Most importantly, they look for a group to provide them with inclusion and a sense of belonging after feeling isolated in their communities. It is of little consequence that many of them may come from privileged backgrounds, since it is not unusual to see the mujahideen in expensive clothing in their recruitment videos.

One professor said the age of highest risk is 13 to 17 and if the seed is planted then, the process of reaching them will be slow in the beginning but later accelerates at a rapid pace. When I read that Abdul Hamid Abaoud, the mastermind behind the Paris attacks, lived in the well-known fundamentalist hotspot in Brussels Molenbeek, had been to Germany, Belgium, and Turkey, and was known to the authorities, I began to Investigate. I was very much troubled by how safe extremists might feel in the European Union when developing their militant plans and the idea that they do not acknowledge borders between countries. Do they have a den, a cell, or a group in every European country? What does this mean for EU residents? Should people believe the rhetoric or is it mere speculation?

Cartoon jihadist (2)As luck would have it, a colleague of mine who lives in Australia and writes about extremist groups discovered that one of the leading recruiters of young extremists was in Germany for a day. When I was given a place and time to meet him, I could hardly believe it.

I was given no name and so I will call him “Wasit Ullah”, or the mediator of God as he requested. He is of Egyptian origin. He lived in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for over 23 years before moving to the Netherlands, where he lived for five years. Since then, and for more than ten years, he has not remained for more than three months in a single country and usually only spends a few days at a time in a country per his work requirements.

He tells me the sources of funding for recruitment organisations in different countries is “Zakat” (religious alms). He sees himself as a mediator between God and his servants, to purge them from their mistakes on the one hand and to show them the way to uphold the word of God on the other. He does not see himself as belonging to the “Islamic State” (IS), Al-Qaeda, or other organisations. He does not classify himself as a Salafist, a Brotherhood member, or otherwise; he is a Muslim and of course a Sunni.

It is sufficient repayment for him to see the European youths guided to the truth, which is that every Muslim should support and protect their religion and nation against enemies. In his words, a “Wasit” (mediator) does not differentiate at all between foreign entrants to Islam and the sons of the Arab and Muslim immigrants because, as he says, those who grow from “haram” (sinful) wealth are destined to hell, unless it is God’s will for them to repent at his hands or the hands of his group.

He tells me that he likes that I did not don a veil to meet him; it indicates that I am honest and so he will be honest with me in return.

Do you believe what you do supports Islam? Does killing people constitute support to Islam?

We have the truth, no doubt. We are simply God’s mediators on earth. Europeans believe opening their doors to our people will draw them from away from their religion and morals, that it will convince them of all that is villainous. This includes their rampant over-sexualisation, immoral sciences, and taking their haram money in the form of social aid. They believe they have become our rivals and that the war between the disbelievers and Muslims has ended. It has not.  They want to rob us of our will but they can not rob us of our faith and our vision of the truth; they are our enemies and we have a duty to fight them.

Cartoon jihadist (3)You mentioned that there is a war with the West but wars are clear they have terms and conditions. What you do is considered terrorism and this unfortunately draws a violent picture of Muslims, for which we all pay the price. Why do you not publicly declare war on them from one of the countries in which you are based?

I understand what you mean; you are malicious like those who do not want to see the truth. What we advocate for is something very unique and special, which is why many people do not see it clearly.  Those who join us are people with transparent hearts and souls, unlike others.

By that do you mean they belong to a special and unique group to perform special and unique missions and so they have to help each other to the fullest extent?

Of course and I see what you want to say; that we are, in this regard, no different from other groups or sects.

Forgive me but yes, I do think so. For the young, it is nice to belong to a group that fosters their dreams of control and of dominating the world with their ideas, by themselves and for themselves. 

But our religion is the religion of truth.

Correct me if I am wrong but Europeans perceive thing more detachedly, unlike Arabs. So how do you convince them?

No, you are not wrong and that is why it is sometimes easier for us to reach them than it is to reach Arab youth; what we say is logical and clear. European youths who join us are usually in more need of us than we are of them. They are usually thirsty for the truth and want to belong to something that is the greater than themselves.  We are trying to reach girls and boys at a young age, particularly those who need to belong to a group and many of them love the idea of ​​the “Ummah” (Islamic nation).

First of all, many of them do not know that there is an afterlife and they are, in may cases, eager to surpass this life full of pain, frustrations, and loneliness and move on to the happy afterlife.

Cartoon jihadist (4)So they lean towards the idea of suicide?

Why do you say that? Certainly not, because they know that the sin of suicide is unforgivable as you know. They love God purely and wish to be taken into his heavens, while there are those who reject its existence did not want to glorify Him. Why should they weep over the lives that will not last? A life that did not and will not give them their rights, especially now, because they are among the few people with true faith, but are treated as prey among beasts.

Of course, it is our duty to protect ourselves from their greed for the sake our countries, our religion, and our ethics. We must defend ourselves. Even if you call this terrorism, we know better than you that it is true martyrdom and jihad.

Is it true that there are many people from Europe who are in Syria for jihad?

Yes, but not only in Syria.

Where else?

Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, and in every country where we have to support Islam. Our cause is not the victory of Muslims since many of them are not true Muslims. We raise the true flag of Islam and remind the world of it and its mightiness after it was weakened at the hands of those who claimed to protect it.

Such as?

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others.

What about Iran and its Islamic Revolution?

Oh please Hala, I know you are an Egyptian and a Sunni Muslim; maybe you have lost a lot of your religion by marrying a German and raising your children away from Islam but for God’s sakes tell me, are Shi’as really Muslims?

Cartoon jihadist (5)Of course, because their legislations are derived from the Quran and Prophet Mohammed and Ali.

Shi’as are “Kharijites” and they are worse than disbelievers. You may call them pagans, if you wish.

Then, should we expect a terrorist attack on Iran soon?

Of course not, we have not declared war on them so far. We are now focused on disbelieving Europeans, Christians, and Jews.

So, you have declared war on the West? Where and when?

Of course we have; we declared it in 2001 and then again in 2012.

Where?

In our publications and pages.

Which are?

They are many; here and there.

Do you belong, in one way or another, to Al-Qaeda or IS?

What is the difference between one group from another? There are no differences between the righteous servants of Allah as long as they unite to raise the word of God, then they are part of the nation.

Is it easy for you to move around in the EU?

Sure, most of us have European passports because sadly they make things harder for our brothers who have foreign passports and of course we know that they become more suspicious after every operation, although the past couple of months have been good.

How do you acquire European nationalities?

Through various means.

What percentage of it is by marrying European women?

Around 80%; there are many people who have sinned by marrying non-Muslims but they repent to God and God is merciful and forgiving.

They came out of it with something useful, did they not?

Our Lord always has good reasons.

What do you mean that the past months were good in terms of ease of movement?

They were good because, with God’s help, we have been able to bring some of our brothers in here with the refugees. God knows they truly are refugees since they seek refuge with God from a place where they are strangers and unwelcome but this has always been the way the righteous are treated.

Are you planning other operations?

Definitely. Why wouldn’t we? We must warn the world that no one is safe so long as we are warred against and persecuted, even in our countries. You know very well that we must pursue this path until we force solutions for the situations in Palestine, Syria, and Yemen.

What is the purpose of these operations?

They must desist from assisting criminals; the leaders of our countries who are only in power because of the West’s support. Do you believe that Al-Sisi in Egypt, Abdullah of Jordan, Bashar [Al-Assad] in Syria, the Al-Khalifas, or others would be able maintain their chairs without the support of the West?

The goal is political, then? Do you wish to lead because you are the ones who know the truth?

This is a malicious question and I will not respond to it.

I am just asking because you specifically mentioned Al-Sisi, the Al Khalifas, Bashar Al-Assad, and King Abdullah. So it is not an issue of a specific republic or a kingdom, where is the problem then in your eyes?

The problem is the poison that was planted in the region centuries ago and culminated with the establishment of the state of Israel. We are trying to make the whole world unsafe, so long as there continues to be no hope on the horizon for a safe place where the true name of God can be raised, where the true Islam of justice, mercy, and the Shari’a would be triumphant.

Is Saudi Arabia not that place?

I will not reply and I’ll let you respond to that.

I cannot read your mind and it is clear that our ideas diverge in numerous aspects, so would you help me understand you?

In Saudi Arabia, there are many great and devout people but the system is not. Not all those who raise the flag of Islam truly enforce it. In Europe, I have met young people, men and women, who have just barely entered Islam but who in their hearts are more devout than all the Arab rulers combined.

Which European country do you most prefer, in which recruiting is easiest?

I do not like this term. We do not recruit, we are intermediaries between people who are lost but whose hearts are clean and we show them the right path to Allah.

Where do you find the largest number of such hearts in the EU?

In England; young people there are thirsty for a sense of belonging and compassion. Also, in Belgium and Germany since the uncaring and perfectionist nature of these societies marginalises many people of kindness.

There is a theory that it is not poverty but the lack of hope in reaching the desired success that leads people to take recourse to you and try to take revenge against society. What is your opinion regarding this?

I did not think of it that way but perhaps this is true. This is not wrong. Most of those who love us are not lost in their communities but are rather educated and mostly successful. But indeed for many of them, it is not enough and they all feel frustration and emptiness and search for anything greater than themselves. They join us and are dedicated to us because they feel that they lack something; a nation, a connection and a holy cause. They are all pure souls who hate the impurity that is all around them.

How many pure souls have you helped save? 

I do not count, I do not work in order to count numbers, I do this as a service for the sake of Allah. I am one of the people they seek, in order to give me their testament that they will not give up our sacred common goal, no matter the price. I hold between my ribs glimpses of paradise for those who seek it.

Is this a gift you were born with or is it granted or acquired?

A bit of both. Now this is enough because I have to talk to my boys and prepare for departure.

By plane or train?

I will not tell you, of course.

I am just asking because I am curious as to whether you fear that another group might carry out an operation on the train or plane as a holy task, of which you would be victim.

There are no victims. Of course there may be other operations; my group and I certainly do not know everything. Usually I would know but only God knows everything and I am only human.  But even if this happens, I would not be afraid or intimidated because my soul will be in heaven… or I may have done something wretched and would therefore meet my retribution for it.

Does this mean that victims deserve what happens to them?

They are not victims, and yes they do.  God does not claim any lives in these sacred missions, except those who are deserving. We are not slaughterers. Allah is the one who claims lives and it is He who chooses to deliver or not deliver those who are worthy, doctor. What is it that you believe we are doing? This is the truth and the only truth.

Are there restrictions on travel now?

It is manageable. We must acknowledge that Europeans, despite their impurity and debauchery, are civilised. I have a clean record, so there is no fear for me and I will not be treated unjustly.

So they are fair?

Most of them are.

If you do not want to respond, so be it, but I know that Abdul Hamid Abaoud, head of the Paris operations, was one of your students. Do you bless his criminal record?

He was a stray and he has repented for his sins.

 

The interview ended and there is a lot I did not get to ask him. I felt nothing but an overwhelming sense of calm.

He thought himself a mediator from God. He referred to me as his “daughter” and prays for me to find guidance. I did not think for a minute that he finds it difficult to convince his recruits.

Things are one dimensional in his eyes; black or white; heaven or hell. I felt safer before this interview.

Recruits are people fascinated with the knowledge of the speaker regarding the afterlife and the selective teachings of Islam, which are shown to the targeted person with great scheming and understanding of their needs.

However, a glimmer of hope remains; there are not many recruits among refugees claimed and they do not have the abundance of money and equipment that would allow for them carry out an operation every month.

Also, recruitment itself takes time and patience to push recruits to the point of doing whatever the mastermind wants. I never wanted to give numbers. Experts believe the number of recruits is between 700 and 1,000 persons a year. This is not a number that calls for extreme fear.

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https://www.dailynewsegypt.com/2015/12/21/interview-a-jihadist-recruiter-on-methods-to-enlist-europeans/
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