Berlin terror suspects may have ties with radical Islamists

German media reports that one of the suspect's brother was killed in an IDF operation in 2009, he attended his funeral in the Gaza Strip.

Berlin police outside Islamic cultural center 311 (photo credit: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters)
Berlin police outside Islamic cultural center 311
(photo credit: Pawel Kopczynski/Reuters)
BERLIN – Two men detained on Thursday for allegedly planning a bomb attack using large quantities of chemical explosives have ties with a host of radical Islamic groups, German media reported on Saturday.
A judge on Friday ordered Hani N., a 28-year-old Gazaborn man, and Samir M., a 24-year-old German man of Lebanese origin, to remain in custody because of the risk they would flee the country.
German media generally do not publish the last names of criminal suspects.
Hani reportedly relocated to Germany in 2001 and studied medicine between 2003 and 2008 at Berlin’s Charité hospital.
According to press reports, Hani’s brother was killed in an IDF operation in 2009, and Hani attended his funeral in the Gaza Strip, where he embraced radical Islam. In 2010, Hani filed an asylum application, which was rejected by the German immigration authorities.
Both Hani and Samir attended a barbecue last year in Berlin, where Fatih K.
was present. Fatih is believed by authorities to have ties with the German Taliban Mujahideen terrorist group, according to Der Spiegel’s website.
Der Spiegel also reported that German security sources said Hani has ties with extreme fundamentalist Salafi Islam. He frequently lashed out at people in his neighborhood as “unbelievers” and urged children not to play soccer, chastising youngsters for wearing the jersey of Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo. A photo of his 20-year-old wife, Aysha N., also from Gaza, in the mass circulation Bild newspaper showed her fully covered and with one of her twin 18-month-old sons.
Samir tried in 2009 to visit a terrorist training camp along the Afghan- Pakistan border, and planned to fly via Iran. He was prevented from leaving Berlin’s Tegel airport and stripped of his passport.
This year, a German domestic intelligence agent termed Samir an advocate of radical jihadism. The authorities seized jihadist literature, and media material from Osama bin Laden, in Samir’s apartment, as well as propaganda from US-born Yemeni al-Qaida leader Anwar al- Awlaki.
Samir declared that women should wear head scarves, and reportedly assaulted a couple for kissing in the subway.
Hani and Samir attended the Ar-Rahman Mosque and the Islamic Cultural Center for Religious Enlightenment, which was searched for explosives on Thursday, and which is a hotbed of anti- American and anti-Israel sentiments.
Roughly 500 members attend services at the mosque in the district of Wedding in Berlin. According to Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, approximately 450 violent Islamists live in Berlin.