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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The "German Connection" to the Taliban in Afghanistan

John Rosenthal has an interesting piece at World Politics Review on "Germany's Taliban Trail" - a mater of apparently "little interest" as he puts it to American media. Something to keep an eye on. Of interest:
When it emerged in mid-March that the perpetrator of a deadly suicide attack on American troops in Afghanistan had come from Germany, the American media showed remarkably little interest. On March 3, 28-year-old Cüneyt Ciftci from Ansbach in Bavaria drove a pick-up loaded with several tons of explosives into a guard post in Khost province in southeastern Afghanistan and then detonated his payload while still inside the truck. According to U.S. Army and Afghan sources, two American soldiers and two Afghans were killed in the attack and another seven persons, including four soldiers, were wounded. The Islamic Jihad Union (IJU), the Taliban-affiliated Jihadist group that took responsibility for the attack, claimed a more massive death toll: some 60 dead in both the explosion itself and a follow-on attack by Taliban forces. In a Turkish-language statement posted in the internet, the IJU also identified the bomber: "This operation was successfully carried out by the brave Cüneyt Ciftci from Germany, who has traded in his life of luxury for paradise"
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...the German media has by and large spun the presence of the two men in the region as somehow a threat to German troops well to the North -- or even to the German homeland itself -- but apparently not to anyone else. This supposition is, however, obviously contradicted by Breininger's message in the propaganda clip. Before making his appeal for new recruits, he can likewise be heard not only praising the example set by Cüneyt Ciftci, but praising Ciftci specifically for killing Americans. Perhaps not coincidentally, this last detail has gone virtually entirely unmentioned in the German media coverage.

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