KOBLENZ, Germany – The third week of hearings to determine if Ahmad Wali
Siddiqui, a German-Afghani, participated as a member of the terror groups
al-Qaeda and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan unfolded on Monday and Tuesday.
The proceedings shed light on planned attacks to decimate and undermine Europe’s
economy in the fall of 2010 and strong ties between Iran and senior al- Qaida
Convicted German Islamist Rami Makanesi appeared on Monday at
the trial, but refused to testify about his role in terror activities in
Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as slated bombing plans in Europe. A Frankfurt
court convicted the broad shouldered and stocky Makanesi last year for his
membership in al-Qaeda, and sentenced him to nearly five years in
According to a federal prosecutor at the trial, Makanesi “was the
only source of information” about the campaign to destroy Europe’s economic
infrastructure in 2010.
Al-Qaida assigned Siddiqui and Makanesi to return
to Europe with the aim of “destroying the financial and economic systems of
Europe,” according to testimony at the hearing on Tuesday. The proceeding on
Tuesday revealed a window into al-Qaida’s strategy to drain Germany’s economy of
resources. Testifying on Tuesday, a federal prosecutor, who interrogated
Makanesi, said the terror group sought to increase security measures to “damage
In 2010, the Germany Interior Ministry ordered
high-security policies and actions to protect government buildings, including
the Reichstag, to prevent bomb attacks believed to be connected with
The information regarding planned attacks in Germany and Europe
was culled from the “investigatory phase” after Makanesi’s arrest in Pakistan in
2010. Makanesi and Siddiqui were part of the notorious Hamburg cell number two
that departed Germany in 2009 to fight American and Pakistani forces.
first Hamburg cell staged the 9/11 attacks, resulting in the murders of roughly
3,000 people in the US.
Makanesi invoked his right under German law to
not testify, largely because his fresh testimony could expose the German-Syrian
citizen to new criminal proceedings. He transported 20 to 30 anti-aircraft
devices up a mountain in Pakistan to fire against advancing Pakistani military
forces in 2009. After his capture in 2010, he issued exhaustive confessions to
the German authorities about his role in Iran and activities in Pakistan and
According to testimony from the prominent terrorism and
Islam expert, Dr. Guido Steinberg, who is a researcher with the Berlin-based
Middle East and North Africa division of the German Institute for International
Security Affairs, there are three layers to the Hamburg 9/11 al-Qaida
The first layer is the direct participants.
The second group
revolves around the core group containing the direct actors. And the third tier
is the Islamists who circulate on the outskirts of the other groups.
six days of hearing have thus far revealed fresh evidence of the role of radical
German Islamists in Iran. The popular website The Long War Journal has long
documented the links between al-Qaida and Tehran. According to reports in the
LWJ, Iran’s regime has tolerated widespread movement of high-level al-Qaida
figures between Iran and Pakistan, and provided a refuge for members of the
Sunni-based al-Qaida terror network. In a series of articles written in late
2011 and early 2012, the LWJ noted “Leaders of German al- Qaida living in Iran”
and cited a US bounty for the capture of Yasin al Suri.
As the key
architect of financing for al- Qaida, al Suri, who is also known as Ezedin Abdel
Aziz Khalil, met with members of the German Islamic group, including Makanesi
and a fellow Jihadist from Hamburg, Namaan Meziche.
In late December, the
US State Department issued a $10 million dollar reward for al Suri’s capture or
information resulting in his arrest. Writing in the IHS Jane’s military
magazine, Steinberg noted that Makanesi met a top al-Qaida operative known as
Yassin al-Suri in February 2010. Steinberg wrote that Suri asked Makanesi to
“accompany him to Iran.” He added that Makanesi said that Suri “was responsible
for funneling money and recruits via Iran and that he was known to cooperate
with the Iranian government.”
The revelations at the Koblenz trial have
contributed to debunking the notion that Shi’ite-based Iran refuses to cooperate
with Sunni terror groups.