Jihadi Web forums have been abuzz with anticipation over the likelihood of an al Qaeda attack against Germany, with jihadi supporters speculating eagerly over potential targets, dates, timings, and even casualty numbers.
(AP / CBS)
A blogger going by the name "Yaman Mokhaddab" posted what he claimed was "Western intelligence" giving 13 hints about the upcoming attacks, warning that they would be much worse than 9/11.
On the popular al-Fallojah forums, "Mohami al-Dawla" speculated Thursday about how many would be killed and the economic damage that would be inflicted. He speculated confidently that we are likely to witness the first WMD attack in the history of modern Jihad.
This mania has hit the blogs in the wake of a far more worrying threat made against Germany almost about weeks ago by a German al Qaeda operative from Bonn named Abu Talha al-Almani (intelligence officials believe his real name is Bekkay Harrach).
On Sept. 18, Talha appeared in an internet video threatening attacks against Germany if the country's voters failed to elect a government in favor of a complete troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. The election on Sept. 27 saw Prime Minister Angela Merkel hold onto her seat, and led to no tacit change in Germany's support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.
Talha's appearance was followed quickly by another chilling video warning of al Qaeda attacks on Germany. This production showed photographs of various locations which could be targeted — prompting German police to increase security at airports and train stations across the country.
(AP Photo/Christof Stache)
At left: A police officer and his sniffer dog search through baggage on a platform at the train station in Munich, southern Germany, Sept. 30, 2009.
Amid the heightened security and nerves, German media reported earlier this week that security services had detected a 10-member terrorist cell in the port city of Hamburg — the same city where the 9/11 attacks were planned.
News of the cell emerged from a secret German intelligence report leaked to a television program and Die Welt newspaper.
"It is to be assumed that these persons are absolutely prepared to carry out suicide or other attacks at home or abroad," the report said, according to Die Welt and the German magazine news program.
"The members of the group have a basic commitment to jihad and belong to Hamburg's potentially violent pro-jihad scene."
According to the report, the cell was headed by a German man of Syrian origin identified only as Rami M. The group reportedly frequented the Taiba mosque, the same mosque where 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and his key accomplices made their final will before leaving to the United States.
All 10 of the cell-members reportedly left Hamburg earlier this year to attend militant training camps in the volatile border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. But, according to the German media, the report says two of them returned recently to Germany.
Abhu Talha "the German" is not alone. An increasing number of jihadi propaganda videos with German-speaking militants have surfaced online in recent months. They often show entire villages in the mountainous Afghan-Pakistan border region apparently populated by German-speakers.
Such was the case with an hour long video posted online earlier this week by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), an Uzbek al Qaeda proxy group known for its association with German jihadists since the time of the Chechen war.
During a recent online meeting with his supporters, exiled British cleric Omar Bakri speculated that al Qaeda would hit hard against Germany, striking simultaneously in multiple locations. "As an expert in the field, I am telling you: they have to do it... they got their credibility hanging on the line," said Bakri, an open supporter of al Qaeda.