We noted with alarm the recent interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his attempt to inflame Germans against the West by blaming their post-war humiliation on Jews. Apparently Ahmadinejad’s attempts to provoke German fringe-dwellers have a ready audience, as Der Spiegel reports that three German women had to be tracked down and arrested after proclaiming their readiness to act as suicide bombers in Iraq:
SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that German intelligence agencies have prevented three German women from travelling to Iraq in recent weeks. The women, who have close contacts to the Islamist scene in Germany and at least one whom has converted to Islam, came to the attention of intelligence agencies after one of them had announced on an Internet site that she intended to blow herself and her child up in Iraq.
After the Web posting were spotted, Germany’s domestic and foreign intelligence agencies mounted an intense search for the three women. One of them was located in Berlin, the other two are believed to come from southern Germany. The Berlin woman’s child was taken away from her and she has been put in a psychiatric clinic. The two other women were also prevented from leaving Germany. One of them is also believed to have a child.
It’s not clear yet how serious the women were about their claims and how far their plans for an attack had progressed. There has been no official confirmation. Well-informed sources say the women have had contacts with sympathizers of Ansar al Islam, a militant group linked to al-Qaida and suspected of smuggling suicide bombers from Germany to Iraq. The group is also suspected of raising money for the resistance to the US-led forces in Iraq.
Last year, as DS notes, a Belgian woman conducted a suicide bombing in the Baghdad area, and now it appears that Ansar al-Islam wants to recruit Germans on behalf of Arab fanatics. The woman’s volunteering of her child as part of her own suicide shows the sickness required to participate in such assignments, but the fact that three German women made that decision and proclaimed it rather publicly has to give concern about Ansar’s efficacy in their nation.
Besides the obvious advantage of using Europeans to defuse some of the normal suspicion of people traveling into Iraq, the recruitment of Westerners gives AQ two distinct victories. First, it embarrasses the West, and AQ can use these cases to show that even those who grew up in freedom want to see it end. Second and more important, every Westerner who carries out a suicide mission allows an Arab to avoid it. From an AQ leadership perspective, that’s a good trade.