Germany’s Intelligence Chief Says At Least 550 Germans In IS Ranks

Coat of arms of Syria -- the "Hawk of Qur...

Coat of arms of Syria — the “Hawk of Qureish” with shield of vertical tricolor of the national flag, holding a scroll with the words الجمهورية العربية السورية (Al-Jumhuriyah al-`Arabiyah as-Suriyah “The Syrian Arab Republic”). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

November 23, 2014

The head of Germany‘s domestic intelligence agency says that some 550 citizens of the country have traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

Hans-Georg Maassen told the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” in an interview published on November 23 that the number of Germans fighting alongside IS militants had risen from 450, the number German officials have previously been using.

Maassen said about 60 of those German citizens were killed in fighting, with at least nine killing themselves in suicide attacks.

Maassen said German authorities believe some 180 jihadists have returned after fighting in Syria and Iraq and since Germany is part of the alliance fighting the Islamic State extremist group, the country is “naturally” a target for the militants.

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New Intelligence on Italian Jihadists

English: War flag of al-Shabaab

English: War flag of al-Shabaab (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

August 25, 2014

Compared to France, Germany, or Britain, Italy’s problem with domestic jihadism is relatively modest, yet it is growing fast, thanks to the wars in Syria and Iraq. A new report in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s paper of record, based on current intelligence from Italian secret services, paints a disturbing picture of rising radicalism.

At present, according to the latest intelligence in Rome, some fifty Italians are fighting with the Islamic State (IS — get my assessment of that dangerous group here), of whom a shocking eighty percent are converts, not immigrants or born Muslims. Many go abroad to wage holy war after a surprisingly brief period of conversion and radicalization. They are very young and come mostly from northern Italy. The Salafi jihadist scene in Italy is fragmented regionally and a key role is played by what Italian intelligence terms “liaison officers,” the individuals who facilitate the recruitment of new holy warriors and get them to the war zone. Continue reading

Germany stops numerous arms exports, risks compensation fees: report


germany (Photo credit: osde8info)

BERLIN Sat May 24, 2014 2:27pm EDT

Euro crisis can build European identity

When European Union leaders meet in late June, they will weigh ideas that point to more political unity as a way to stem the euro crisis. Will Europeans give up more national sovereignty?

By the Monitor’s Editorial Board / June 5, 2012

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People in Pamplona protest May 31 against cutback plans by Spain’s government. The European Union urged Spain to come clean on how it plans to finance the overhaul of its banking sector.

Alvaro Barrientos/AP Photo Enlarge

Two years into its debt crisis, Europe has finally arrived at the nub of its problem: Will there ever be a common European identity?

The answer may start to become clear at a European Union summit June 28-29. Leaders will weigh proposals to create a binding political union as a way to prevent a collapse of the euro – as well as to prevent the effects to the world economy.

The euro crisis began because too many countries, such as Greece, acted on old national impulses under the umbrella of a single currency. They spent too much money – borrowed from other EU countries – with little regard for the new European rules on fiscal discipline.

Instead of one for all and all for one, it was more often simply all for one.

Financial markets finally gagged on the red ink and now insist that the euro’s 17 member states create a political authority as strong as their economic union.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, agrees, in large part to justify helping Europe’s wobbly banks. But this would mean that each nation would need to give up a lot more sovereignty, such as control over spending on health and education.

Europe, which invented the nation-state, is faced with diminishing it for the sake of an elusive United States of Europe. Up to now, however, much of the EU’s unity was based on a negative identity. In 1945, Europe didn’t want to be like its fascist past. Then during the cold war, it rallied around not being like the communist Soviet Union. And it has long tried not to be like America.

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German Officials Say Men Opposed Afghan Mission

Trial Opens in Alleged Plot Against U.S. Targets

German Officials Say Men Opposed Afghan Mission

Daniel Schneider, left, greets his attorney through a window as he and co-defendant Adem Yilmaz, second from right, sit with police in a German courtroom. (By Federico Gambarini — Pool)

By Craig Whitlock Washington Post Foreign Service Thursday, April 23, 2009

BERLIN, April 22 — Four members of an alleged Islamist terror cell went on trial Wednesday, charged with plotting to kill dozens of Americans and Germans in a campaign to force Germany to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan. Continue reading

“Kosova” about to open Pandora’s Box in Balkans

“Kosova” about to open Pandora’s Box in BalkansBy txenos | February 15, 2008

Slowly, inexorably the “international community,” with the US, Britain, Germany, and France in the lead, is about to sanction the secession of the province of Kosovo from the Republic of Serbia and approve an independent “Kosova” (the name the Kosovar Albanian thugs prefer for their rump). “Kosova” will come into being most likely this Sunday, February 17, following years of international “supervision” and administration — which came right after the unprecedented NATO attack upon Serbia in 1999 and the heavy bombing of that country so that the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), a terrorist organization until 1998 in the books of the US and Western Europe, could complete its scheme of creating its own criminal enclave financed with drug, arms smuggling, and prostitution money. In fact, “Kosova’s” current “prime minister,” Hashim Thaci, a convicted terrorist, was the UCK’s “political leader” during the woodland days, but now has exchanged his fatigues for suit and necktie and likes to romp alongside international officials who address him as “Mr. prime minister.”

“Kosova’s” independence is driven, mainly, by an unusual American hatred toward Serbia and the obvious intent to deliver another stab at Russia, the only major power that has stood by Serbia’s side against secession. In the background, EU powers wring their hands, as usual, and follow the US lead uncritically and mostly blindly. Memory is short in this continent. Few remember that Germany’s precipitous move to recognize the secession of Slovenia and Croatia from the then Yugoslavia in the early 1990s essentially put into motion the events which led to the bloodiest war on European soil since the end of WWII and the disintegration of Yugoslavia.

Greece, inept, confused, and in a stupor, is watching the avalanche without too much interest. “Kosova” independence though should have sent this country’s government agencies and security authorities into battle stations. We tend to forget, for example, that our easternmost provinces near Turkey are populated by Muslims, most of whom claim Turkish ethnicity. We also tend to forget that this minority has never stopped its collusion with Turkish diplomats who are, in reality, active intelligence operatives charged with missions that in another country would have triggered their expulsion and a round of arrests among their local confederates. Furthermore, Greece is already the target of various Albanian irredentists demanding, in effect, most of northwestern Greece as an Albanian possession. Are we all that distant from a “Turkish Republic of Western Thrace” or a revived “Tsamouria?”“Kosova’s” secession won’t go without its ripples. Serbia has already announced it will never recognize this new “state” and will implement a plan to counter it. Russia is standing ready in the background. The US and Europe will rush to offer the rump diplomatic recognition. I wonder though who’s going to deal with the violence that may emerge immediately. Is NATO to send its bombers again to drop a few on Serbia? Greece, of course, will recognize “Kosova” but imagine what would happen if this country displayed some backbone and said “No.” Would we have NATO bombers visiting us over Athens? The way the “alliance” is acting and the way the agenda of the “humanitarian bombers” is taking precedence over all others, the prospect would not be entirely unlikely.